Dental implants: a versatile option for replacing missing teeth
As dentists, we would love for all of our patients to keep all of their natural teeth for their entire lifetime, but things happen! Traumatic injuries, infections, decay, and even genetics can all result in missing teeth. At Life Smiles Dental Care inPhoenix, Arizona, we offer a variety of options for replacing missing teeth to meet our patients’ diverse needs. Dental implants are one of the most versatile options available, and they also have many functional and oral health benefits. Read on to learn more about the “gold standard” in tooth replacement!
Why replace missing teeth?
Tooth loss affects a person’s smile in many ways. In addition to the impact that missing teeth have on the appearance of your smile – and in turn, your self-confidence, tooth loss can also impede your ability to speak and chew your food properly. The gaps created by missing teeth can also cause your other teeth to shift in your mouth, creating bite and misalignment problems and make your mouth more susceptible to gum disease and tooth decay. Additionally, the underlying bone that supports your teeth begins to deteriorate over time because it no longer sustains the chewing forces that help keep it strong and healthy.
The great news is that dental implants solve all of these issues!
Actual Patient Results
How dental implants work
Dental implants are designed to mimic a natural tooth root, which helps hold the tooth firmly in place in the jaw. An implant is a small screw-like piece of titanium that is surgically placed into the jawbone, where it fuses with the bone over time to create a very stable and secure foundation for your new tooth or set of teeth. Because of this, dental implants are:
- Great for your oral health: By replacing your missing teeth with implants, you can prevent the oral health issues discussed above because the implants fill the gap created by the missing teeth and help stimulate the jawbone to prevent deterioration over time
- Comfortable and convenient: After your implant has healed, you can enjoy all of your favorite foods and activities without worrying about your new tooth slipping or falling out
- Natural-looking: We use the latest dental materials to fabricate your new teeth so that they look as great as they feel and function
- Versatile: Dental implants can be used to replace just one tooth or an entire arch of teeth and everything in between! We can finish your dental implant with a single dental crown, a dental bridge, or even a full arch of dentures that are either fixed or removable, depending on your specific needs and preferences
The dental implant process
Getting dental implants placed takes a few visits that are spaced out by several months to enable the implant to heal, but patients find that the end result is well worth the wait. In your first visit, we will surgically place the implant in your jaw. We use effective anesthetics to ensure that this procedure is painless, and many patients often return to work the day after their surgery! After the implant has healed, which typically takes a few months, we will place an abutment or attachment on it, and then the final step is the placement of your dental restoration on the implant.