Tooth loss is far from uncommon in the United States. Around 36 million Americans are missing all of their teeth, and a further 120 million adults are missing at least one tooth. The loss of an entire arch of teeth requires a full denture to restore speech and chewing function.
Removable dentures are often wobbly and uncomfortable. Many of our patients at Champaign Dental Group have questions about dental implant options, which offer a more stable platform for replacing lost teeth. In this article, we’ll explain how dental implants can permanently replace teeth.
What Are Dental Implants?
In short, dental implants are advanced replacements for lost tooth roots. While the technology may seem new, modern dental implants have been safely placed for a few decades. Implants have a long track record of being safe and effective.
Sometimes called subperiosteal implants, the medical implants loosely resemble a metal post or screw. Once put in the jaw, the implants fuse with surrounding bone tissue through a process known as osseointegration. The implant can then support an artificial tooth or an implant-retained denture.
How Are Dental Implants Placed?
The process of surgically placing dental implants is gentle and pain-free. Our office offers two forms of sedation dentistry: oral sedation and nitrous oxide.
Both forms of sedation help patients relax throughout the straightforward surgical placement of one or more dental implants. Under the effects of sedation, patients feel like they are in a dream-like state. Time seems to go by quickly, and any symptoms of anxiety melt away.
One of our doctors will use local anesthesia to completely numb the surgical site. Once you are completely comfortable, one of our doctors will make a small incision in your gums. Once our doctor has reached the underlying bone, he or she will place an implant in the bone.
Your doctor will then use sutures to close the incision. Dental implant placement is a straightforward outpatient procedure. Soon after the procedure is over, one of our team members will release you to return home to rest and recover.
Over the course of the next months, your jaw will heal. After you have recovered, you can be fitted with a custom prosthetic that replaces your missing teeth.
What Are My Dental Implant Options?
Endosteal implants can support three basic types of prosthetics: dental crowns, bridges, and dentures. The doctors of Champaign Dental Group can provide you with any of these tooth loss solutions.
If you have lost one tooth, you may be a great candidate for an implant-supported crown. A crown is a false tooth that matches the shape, color, and luster of your natural teeth. Once your implant has healed, one of our doctors will attach a custom crown to your implant.
An implant-retained bridge can replace two, three, or several adjacent teeth. Our office offers Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramic technology. This allows our patients to cut down on wait-time for prosthetics.
To have an implant-retained bridge, you will likely need to have multiple dental implants placed. Our implant-supported bridges can drastically improve your ability to speak and chew with ease.
If you have lost every tooth along one arch, you may require a full denture. Patients who have a few natural teeth remaining may be candidates for a partial denture. Both options can be supported by dental implants.
If you are tired of dealing with poorly fitting removable dentures, ask one of our dentists if you are a candidate for implant-supported dentures.
Custom Solutions for Tooth Loss
Dental implants allow our doctors to customize restorative treatment plans. Depending on your needs, you can be fitted with any combination of dental implant-supported prosthetics. Some patients may require implanted-supported crowns for one arch and a full denture for the other, for example.
Benefits of Dental Implants
Before the advent of dental implant technology, an artificial tooth had to attach to a nearby structure. Some dentures rely on suction to stay in place.
Dental implants work differently. Any artificial tooth that is supported by a dental implant attaches directly to the jawbone — just like a natural tooth!
Supports Jawbone Health
Did you know that dental implants keep your jawbone tissue healthy? Following tooth loss, the bone that supported the tooth begins to be slowly reabsorbed. Over time, this can lead to the appearance of “sunken-in” cheeks.
To avoid this unpleasant oral health problem, patients should have one or more dental implants placed soon after tooth loss. In some cases, a dental implant can even be placed immediately following a tooth extraction. Since jawbone tissue will not typically regrow once lost, it is best to protect and preserve your natural bone tissue.
Lasts for a Lifetime
Dental implants are designed to last for a lifetime. Once the implant fuses with your jaw, it functionally becomes part of your body.
You may need to replace the supported prosthetic, but your implant will likely never need to be replaced.
Comfortable Surgical Placement
With sedation dentistry and local anesthesia, you won’t have to worry about discomfort. Our doctors take great care to ensure that all of our procedures are pain-free.
Restore Natural Oral Function Using Implants
With so many dental implant options, there is a custom treatment option that can address your oral health needs. Tooth loss can impede your ability to eat and speak with comfort and confidence. Only dental implants can restore natural oral function following the loss of one or more teeth.
Since 1997, the team of Champaign Dental Group has served our community with friendly, comfortable care. We welcome the opportunity to help you enjoy the many benefits of dental implants. Please contact our office today.