If you’re missing a tooth, you really only have two options: replace it or don’t. If you don’t replace it, you could face all kinds of complications concerning your diet and appearance; in fact, recent studies have shown that a missing tooth greatly increases your chances of losing more teeth over time! There are several options available for replacing missing teeth, but research reveals that dental implants are the only surefire way to prevent jawbone deterioration and additional tooth loss.
A tooth has two parts: the crown and the root. When a tooth falls out, the section of the jaw that supported the tooth no longer has a purpose, so it withers and atrophies. Your remaining teeth are then supported by a weakened jaw. A missing tooth also increases the workload for the remaining teeth, and to balance the load, teeth shift, which can cause spaces to form, food impaction, and decay. After about four to eight years, the remaining teeth often begin to fall out as well because of these reasons. Up to 19% of adjacent teeth are lost as the result of a single missing tooth.
Dental implants are the ideal tooth-replacement option because they restore the missing tooth's root as well as the crown. They do not require support from adjacent teeth, and they keep the jawbone strong because they give it a purpose – to support the tooth's new root. With dental implants, patients do not experience increased tooth decay or sensitivity as with traditional bridges. They have a success rate of 95 to 98% and can be used to secure dentures, partials, and bridgework. And, with regular oral hygiene, dental implants can last most people for a lifetime.
As we touched on above, a single missing tooth can affect much more than your appearance! Fortunately, replacing one with a dental implant is nice and straightforward. Once the new root has been placed within the jawbone, our team can attach it to a beautiful porcelain crown to close the gap in your smile. This material is well-known for its ability to completely mimic natural enamel, and because the tooth will have the same basic structure as those surrounding it, it will seamlessly blend into the smile.
Implants can also be used to support a dental bridge that doesn’t require the surrounding teeth to be cut down. Instead, two implant crowns are placed on either side of the missing ones, and these are bonded to prosthetic teeth to replace them. This kind of restoration not only replenishes the appearance of the smile, but it also helps even out the bite and prevents the remaining teeth from drifting out of place.
In the past, a removable denture was the only solution to extensive tooth loss, and as a result, many people were forced to wear an uncomfortable prosthetic they could never trust to stay in place. Dental implants can now change all of that. With an implant-retained denture, the prosthetic teeth are anchored directly to the jawbone using multiple implant posts, providing a stable fit, longevity, and strong bite a traditional denture simply can’t match.
The most important thing to know about the cost of dental implants is that there is no set price. The overall cost of the procedure can vary widely from patient to patient depending on a number of factors, such as how many teeth need to be replaced and how healthy a patient’s jawbone is.
While they can be more expensive than other traditional options upfront, they actually are the most cost-effective replacement in the long-term, as they can be trusted to last for about 30 years or more. Regular dentures and bridges, by comparison, typically need to be completely replaced every 7-10 years.
To receive dental implants, you must be in good health and have adequate bone structure. Minor pre-operatory procedures like bone and sinus grafts may be necessary to prepare you for implant surgery. Your dentist will evaluate your specific case to determine which replacement option is right for your unique case.
Call our North Kingstown office to schedule a complimentary implant consultation here at Aesthetic Dentistry of Wickford. We look forward to welcoming you and meeting your dental needs with excellent care.