October 11, 2016
Here at Appalachian Dental Care, we love helping patients achieve beautiful, function smiles … and that sometimes means replacing teeth!
For decades, the standard for replacing missing teeth was the dental bridge. We still do plenty of bridges, but there’s another technique that offers a lot of benefits that bridges don’t.
Dental implants are the big thing in replacing teeth now, and for good reason. Implants are very strong and supply the most secure anchorage for single crowns, bridges, and even full-arch dentures.
Restorations on implants tend to last longer as a rule. If you’re wondering why that is, let’s look at the differences between implants and the usual single crowns and bridges.
Crowns and Bridges
Whether you’re replacing a single missing tooth or several teeth using the traditional methods, there’s going to be cement somewhere.
Crowns are hollow pieces of milled porcelain, or porcelain over metal, that fit over damaged teeth. The crown strengthen the tooth and protects it from further injury and/or infection. The crown is held in place with dental cement.
Dental bridges as basically three or more crowns created as a unit. The end crowns are hollow and fit over neighboring, healthy teeth. The middle crowns are solid and replacing the missing teeth. The hollow crowns are, again, held in place by dental cement.
Dental cement is great stuff, but it can give up the ghost at the darnedest times and for no real reason. When that happens, the restoration may or may not come loose, but decay-causing bacteria can get under the crown and begin attacking the tooth itself. And if the tooth fails, then the restoration fails, no matter whether it’s a single crown or a dental bridge.
Dental implants are different. The implants themselves are tiny screws made of titanium or a titanium alloy. These incredibly strong screws are implanted into the bone where the tooth or teeth used to be. Once the bone has fused to the implants, implants are incredibly solid. The restoration – a single crown, a dental bridge, or even a full-arch denture – is firmly secured to the implant by a very tiny screw.
There’s no dental cement to fail, and no opportunity for dental bacteria to attack an underlying tooth. The implants themselves should last as long as you live, and the restorations are likely to last longer than they would otherwise.
With that in mind, here are 4 ways that dental implants can impact your life.
Way #1: They provide the firmest, longest-lasting anchorage for dental restorations.
Whether it’s a single tooth, a bridge, or an entire arch of replacement teeth, you’ll be amazed at how solid and secure your restorations feel. Even with implant-supported dentures, there’s no possibility of anything slipping, sliding, or coming loose. That firm anchorage provides an unbelievable feeling of security.
Way #2: You can potentially save money in the long run.
Dental implants aren’t the cheapest option to replace your teeth, but they’re arguably the best investment you make. Not only will your restorations last longer, there’s less opportunity for damage to otherwise healthy teeth.
Way #3: Dental implants actually strengthen your jawbone.
With your natural teeth, the pressure of chewing is transferred through the tooth root into the bone. That pressure helps to keep the bone stimulated and healthy. Once teeth go missing, the bone beneath where they were begins to deteriorate. Dental implants replace the tooth roots, transferring that pressure to the bone and keeping it stimulated.
Way #4: Implants are almost impossible to detect.
Today’s dental restorations, when mounted on implants, look virtually identical to your own teeth. If you want to smile widely, eat with confidence, and feel like your old self again, implants are definitely the way to go.
Dr. Airey will be happy to perform an evaluation, take digital images, and determine whether you’re a candidate for dental implants. To get started, schedule your appointment by calling Appalachian Dental Care in Boone, NC at 828-355-5673.