Whether you are already missing a tooth or you have a tooth that needs to be extracted, a dental implant can be a good way to both preserve your smile and protect the health of your jaw bone.
What is a dental implant?
In short, it replaces your natural tooth with a metal post, which is then topped with an implant crown.
Because it is implanted directly into the bone of the jaw, it is a much more effective option for preserving jaw bone than any other tooth replacement option. While dentures might help give you a complete and beautiful smile, they do little for improving the health of your mouth. Alternatively, dental implants both improve your smile and maintain the health of your mouth.
Dr. David’s patients have found that dental implants are a great alternative to bridges and dentures. While these applications are great for many situations, dental implants are often the ideal solution for missing teeth or teeth that need to be removed and then replaced. The implant itself if simply a metal replacement for the natural tooth’s root. The crown that is placed on top of the implant will mimic the appearance, feel, and function of your natural tooth – only better, as it does not get cavities and needs very little maintenance in order to remain healthy.
Once placed, the metal dental implant is completely invisible. The crown that is placed on top of the implant is all you see. Durable, easy to maintain, and natural-looking, dental implants are a great choice for replacing missing teeth. Once they are implanted, you will probably forget that they are even there. Even the best-fitting dentures cannot beat the ease and reliability of an implant.
Why Choose Dental Implants?
With the variety of options that you have for replacing a tooth, you might not be sure why you should choose dental implants, over options like dentures and bridges.
One of the biggest reasons our Phoenixville, PA dentist office recommends dental implants to our patients is because of how they can protect the bone of your jaw. When you lose a tooth, there is a gap where the root of that tooth used to be implanted in the bone of your jaw. Just like all bone, in order to stay healthy and whole, the bone of your jaw needs constant stimulation. When you lose a tooth, either by it simply falling out or because it has been pulled, the bone in that area is no longer stimulated.
In just a year, the area can see a 25% decrease in bone density. It begins to recede, which, over time, can start to cause more and more problems, affecting the healthy teeth around the area where the unhealthy tooth was lost or removed. As more and more teeth fall out, the bigger the issue becomes, leading to problems not just with your jawbone, but with the function of your jaw altogether.
Dental implants can actually prevent the loss of this bone. The metal used in the implant posts actually fuses to the jaw bone, replicating a real, healthy, natural tooth, stimulating the bone so that instead of receding, it continues to be healthy and whole. Preventing bone loss in the jaw ensures that your mouth stays healthy, even if you do not choose to have a crown placed on that implant. An implant can often also be used as an anchor for bridges and even sometimes as a way to stabilize dentures.
There are a few different options when it comes to implants, including single tooth replacements, multiple tooth replacements, and even providing support for the replacement of an entire row of teeth.
Single tooth replacement requires only a few short visits to the dentist office. First we implant the post. Then we add an abutment (this can sometimes be done right after the implantation). Finally we attach a crown if a crown is going to be attached to the implant. These crowns are made specifically for your teeth, to replicate the tooth that is missing and to match the teeth around the crown.
Our Phoenixville, PA office will also often use dental implants to replace more than one tooth. Whether an implant and crown is used for every missing tooth in a row, or two implants are used as anchors for a bridge that replaces more than two teeth in a row.
Once the implants have been placed and the custom bridge has been made, it is then attached to the implants. Though an implant is not put in the place of every single missing tooth, this method can still help to prevent serious bone loss.
This is essentially the same method that is used when the patient needs an overdenture for a very large portion or an entire row of missing teeth. It is very likely that the patient will experience some sort of bone loss, because they have large sections of jawbone that are not being stimulated by teeth. Implanting several posts across the jaw will halt this bone loss and provide stabilization for the denture that is then placed on top of the gums.
What Is the Difference between Natural Teeth and Implants?
Natural teeth are connected to the bone of the jaw by ligaments. It is these ligaments that are broken when you lose a tooth. Sometimes, a tooth can be re-implanted, but if the natural tooth is permanently lost, the bone in this area will begin to deteriorate.
An implant, on the other hand, is fused directly with the jaw bone. A natural tooth, if not properly cared for, will start to decay. This does not happen to an implant and crown. In fact, an implant tooth will never need a root canal and will be impervious to gum disease and cavities.
A crown, if it breaks or becomes discolored, can be easily replaced by our dentist office, but the implants themselves are designed to last a lifetime, as long as they are cared for. However, they do not require any special care in order to ensure that they continue functioning properly. For many patients, dental implants are the perfect solution to missing teeth. Not only can they improve the appearance of your smile, they can also help to maintain the health of your jawbone and prevent future tooth loss.
Why Dental Implants in Phoenixville, PA?
Dr. David is a part of the International Dental Implant Association and has participated in a trip to the Dominican Republic to provide free dental implants to local patients. He has extensive experience with dental implants and endeavors to provide the very best service to the people of Phoenixville, PA.