SERVING MESA, PHOENIX, Gilbert, TEMPE AND SCOTTSDALE, ARIZONA
It’s not uncommon for us to lose our teeth as we get older. Much of this kind of tooth loss can be prevented through general dental care and diligent dental hygiene, but as we live longer teeth can simply wear down. Dentures have done the job for a long time, but they can be uncomfortable, difficult to maintain, and can contribute to long-term bone loss in the jaw. However, now we have more options to choose from than just dentures. Dental implants offer a permanent solution to replacing missing teeth.
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are titanium anchors that we implant into the jawbone that hold replacement teeth in place. The root of the implant sits in the jawbone right beneath the gum line allowing the visible tooth, or crown, to attach to the root. Implants have been designed to look and feel much like natural teeth.
Implant dentistry can replace single teeth, multiple teeth, or even all of your teeth. Using dental implants results in permanent replacements, as well as an artificial root that continues to stimulate your jawbone, reducing the risk of bone loss over time. They are able to support individual artificial teeth, bridges, and dentures.
Dental Implant Benefits
Dental implants act as a replacement for a missing tooth’s root. This allows dental implants to prevent structural changes to the jaw that are unavoidable with other types of tooth replacement.
In addition to preventing jaw shrinkage and collapse, dental implants:
- Restore complete strength and function to the smile
- Look and function close to natural teeth
- Will not come loose or fall out
- Deliver a comfortable feel
- Are easy to care for
- Do not need to be replaced over time
- Support jawbone and gum health
Am I a Good Candidate for dental implants?
While many people benefit from them, not every individual is a good candidate for dental implants. You must have sufficient healthy gum and jaw bone tissue to be able to support dental implants and you must be in good overall health.
If you do not have enough sufficiently healthy jaw bone tissue at this time, a bone graft may improve your oral health to a point that you would have a good likelihood of a successful implant procedure. Mini implants are another alternative. We welcome you to meet with one of our implant dentists to determine whether dental implants or another option will be right for you.
You cannot get a dental implant if there is reason to believe the implant may fail. This may mean:
- Insufficient jawbone to support implant
- Untreated periodontal issues that led to loss of prior tooth
- Taking medications that may increase your risk of complications
- Poor general health
- Previous radiation to the Jaw area or Biophosphate use
In many of these cases, conditions can be treated, periodontal health can be restored, and a bone graft can be used to prepare the jaw for a dental implant. Be sure to talk to us about all medications you are taking prior to your dental implant procedure. We will highlight medications of concern and then you can talk to your doctor about treatment alternatives.
We welcome you to meet with one of our implant dentists to determine whether dental implants or another option will be right for you.
Fixed Partial Dentures and Implants
If you are missing more than one consecutive tooth, you may be offered a bridge attached to implants. This is a fixed partial denture. The technology is almost exactly the same as for individual dental implants, with the exception that, instead of one false tooth affixed to a single implant, you will have two or more false teeth connected together and attached to two or more implant posts.
This type of dental restoration is called “fixed” because the bridge, or partial denture, cannot be removed. In fact, most dental implants have the same functionality and feel of your natural teeth. You can use them to chew and they do not interfere with your speech. Additionally, dental implants do not have to be removed to be cleaned, but can be brushed and flossed around just like your natural teeth.
Dental Implant Procedure
A dental implant is a titanium screw that we will place directly into the jawbone. After the implant placement, you have to undergo a healing period, usually of several weeks. During this time, the implant bonds to the jawbone, making it possible to add custom-made appliances that will replace your missing teeth.
Once these appliances are placed, you have permanent replacements for your lost teeth that won’t shift or slide, won’t cause discomfort, and which may not need to be removed for cleaning. In addition, because the implant is placed directly in the jawbone, it continues to stimulate bone growth as you chew, preventing bone loss that’s common in long-term denture wearers.
If you’ve already experienced bone loss in your jaw, you might require bone grafts in order to be able to support dental implants. If the bone loss is fairly minor, the implants can be spaced such that they can support your bridge or dentures in spite of the deficient bone. Mesa implant dentists Dr. LeSueur or Dr. Dodaro can analyze your individual situation and let you know if dental implants are a good option for you.
Mini dental implants
We also offer mini dental implants to provide you with a much less invasive, more affordable option to replace missing teeth or stabilizing loose dentures or partials allowing for more confidence and significantly improved chewing.
Schedule a Consultation
There are a number of benefits we can offer with methods of tooth replacement. Dental implants alone replace a missing tooth’s root – a benefit that gives them clear a advantage over alternative options. To learn more about the options available to replace missing teeth, call 480.834.6991 to schedule a consultation at Drs of Smiles in Mesa, AZ.