Making a Decision about Dental Implants

For many years, your only choice for replacing missing teeth was dentures or bridges. Now dental implants offer an impressive alternative. Don’t rule them out just because you don’t know what they are, what the process is, who makes a good candidate, or what the benefits include. Learn more about implants so you can make an educated decision whether they’re right for you.

Teeth can be lost or severely damaged for many reasons such as gum disease, tooth decay, or injury. Dental implants provide a solution by surgically placing a titanium root directly into your jawbone. A post connects the implant to an artificial tooth that is placed on top during a second surgery. Usually there is a delay between the first and second surgeries to allow for proper healing so that the implant is successful.

Implants offer lots of benefits. They look and feel like your real teeth, and there’s no slipping or speech problems as with other restorations. They have a very high success rate and can last a lifetime with good care. Your oral hygiene tasks are the same as with real teeth. Your self-esteem will increase with your fully restored and functional smile.

Although many people are good candidates for implants, your dentist will let you know if there are risks for you. Healthy gums are very important, so those with periodontal disease may not be suitable. There also must be sufficient jaw bone support for implants to attach successfully, or you might be able to have bone grafting done to achieve more jaw strength before implants.

Dental implants are often the ideal solution for people who are missing teeth. Even though you might be nervous about the procedure, implants provide a great way to restore your smile comfortably and naturally.

Dental Implants Shreveport

Tooth Replacement Options

It’s more common that you might think for adults to lose one or more teeth due to injury or oral diseases. Missing teeth can make chewing and speaking difficult, not to mention lowering a person’s self esteem. That’s why it’s smart to ask your dentist about tooth replacement options, to see if one of them might be right for you.

Dental implants
When artificial tooth roots are inserted into your jaw to replace lost teeth, it’s called dental implants. It involves surgically placing a metal post into the bone under your gums. Then a crown is attached to the post, creating a natural-looking replacement tooth. Dental implants do not affect adjacent teeth, and they look and feel like natural teeth. They are also more secure than other tooth replacement options. However, to be considered for dental implants, you must be healthy overall, have a secure and strong jawbone, and have healthy gums.

Dental bridges
Also called a fixed partial denture, the purpose of a dental bridge is to “bridge” or close the gap between your missing tooth or teeth and your surrounding teeth. Your dentist bonds the bridge onto the teeth adjacent to your gap. This is called a fixed bridge. There are also removable bridges, which you are able to remove, clean, and replace yourself. Another type of dental bridge is called an implant bridge, which attaches to a dental implant. The various types of dental bridge are made from materials like gold, alloys, and porcelain.

Dentures
When you need a tooth replacement option for all or most of your teeth, dentures may be the best choice. Complete dentures are used when you have no teeth left, or the remaining teeth must be removed. These cover both your upper and lower gums. Overdentures are removable and may be used if you have some natural teeth remaining, or have dental implants. These are only an option if your remaining teeth or implants can provide enough support for the overdentures.

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Improving Your Smile with Dental Implants

Losing teeth for one reason or another is not as uncommon as you might think. Injuries and severe tooth decay are only a couple of the causes for smiles to have holes in them from missing teeth. The good news is that you don’t have to go through life with an incomplete smile. Dental implants provide one solution for replacing lost teeth.

Popularity
These restorations that involve a titanium root with an artificial tooth on top have become increasingly popular. Instead of using bridges or dentures that are known to have some hassles with them, implants are a permanent and secure solution. Once the area has healed, you can go back to your normal habits without any concerns related to the implant. They look very natural, preserve neighboring teeth, improve speech, restore the mouth’s function, and help maintain your facial features.

Candidates
Good candidates for implants have strong enough jaw bones to be able to support the implant. Patients with significant bone loss may not be able to successfully maintain implants. Good oral health is helpful, as is good general health since surgery is required. Smokers and those with certain health conditions may not be recommended for dental implants.

Procedure
Once you’ve been identified as a good candidate, the first step is having the titanium rod inserted into your jaw bone. It can take up to three months for it to completely fuse with your bones. Then your dentist will make an abutment to hold the implant, and a mold will be taken of your mouth so that the crown can be created. Until it is ready, a temporary crown will be placed. Finally, your crown will be placed and adjustments will be made if needed.

Maintenance
After you implant is complete, you can resume your regular lifestyle. Your normal dental hygiene routine of brushing, flossing, and checkups should be maintained for the best results.

 

We offer dental implants at our Shreveport dental office.

Are Dental Implants Worth It?

Some patients wonder if dental implants are the best choice for their missing teeth. The time and effort dental implants take can be off-putting to some patients. If you’re wondering if dental implants are really worth it, there are many factors for you to consider.

Dental implant treatment takes a relatively long period of time to complete as well as to completely heal when compared to other tooth replacement options, such as a bridge. The planning process is far more involved than in other missing tooth replacement plans. The materials utilized with dental implants take more time to create in a dental lab and require greater skill and attention than other lab-created tooth replacements.

Dental implants are much stronger than other tooth replacement options, and will last years or even decades longer. When compared to a dental bridge which lasts an average of 14 years, a dental implant can last up to 30 years.

Sometimes, if insufficient bone is present to provide the necessary support for the implant, bone from elsewhere in the body might be grafted onto the existing bone. A dental implant must heal completely before any pressure is put on the new artificial tooth roots. This can take up to three months. After this time, the tooth portion of the dental implant is applied.

Dental implants are the strongest, best choice for a patient with a missing tooth. They rarely fracture and never decay. As opposed to a dental bridge that necessitates the removal of some of your natural tooth structure, a dental implant preserves adjacent teeth and allows patients the most natural, ideal choice for tooth replacement.

Dental implant candidates who are willing to be patient and plan for the future can experience the benefits these restorations have to offer. Talk to your dentist if you want to explore your options for replacing one or more missing teeth.

We treat patients from Shreveport and the surrounding area