Dental implants require surgery, which is why many people initially turn to options such as dentures or bridges instead when thinking about replacing missing teeth. However, dental implants are worth a second look, as they have many benefits that traditional bridges or dentures do not.
Most patients who undergo dental implant surgery find that it is well worth it. Although there will be some discomfort following the surgery, it is generally no worse than that of wisdom teeth removal, and can be managed well with medication and proper care.
Here at Cosmetic & Esthetic Dentistry, we perform all dental implant procedures in-house, making the process much more streamlined and easy for the patient. Our periodontist is board-certified and highly experienced, and you are in good hands with her.
Why Choose Dental Implants?
The root of the tooth is an essential part of the jaw, and plays a role in keeping the jaw bone healthy and intact. Once a tooth is lost, the jaw bone in that area begins to slowly shrink, which can lead to jaw collapse and affect the appearance of the face.
A dental implant, unlike a bridge or denture, actually replaces the tooth root. The implant is placed into the jaw where the natural root used to be, and over time fuses with the jawbone. This helps preserve jaw stability and protects the shape of your face.
The main benefits of dental implants are:
- Long lasting
- Prevents bone loss
- Provides a stable base for an artificial tooth
- Helps preserve surrounding teeth
- Restores full bite function
Dental Implants vs. Dental Bridges or Dentures
Dental bridges require that surrounding teeth be filed down in order to fit a crown over them, so that the false tooth can be anchored in place. While this method is very stable and looks natural, it does unfortunately damage your natural teeth. Dental implants do not require the surrounding teeth to act as an anchor, and you are able to preserve your existing teeth.
Dentures are generally used when multiple teeth are missing. They are a tried and true solution for missing teeth, but they do come with potential problems, including:
- Difficulty chewing or speaking
- Difficulty with adhesives
- Multiple missing teeth increases the chance of significant bone loss in the jaw
Many people are perfectly happy with dentures. However, if you want the most stable solution and are concerned about your appearance, implant supported dentures may be the better option. Implant supported dentures are more secure than dentures held in place with adhesive, and since the implants replace the roots, there is less chance of bone loss.
Who Can Get Dental Implants?
Most people who are missing teeth are candidates for dental implants. However, this procedure is not for everyone. Dr. Clancy may not recommend dental implant surgery if you:
- Are diabetic
- Are a smoker who can't quit temporarily
- Have an uncontrolled chronic medical condition
- Have bruxism (teeth grinding)
Medical conditions, including diabetes, may not be a deterrent to dental implants if they are well controlled. Make sure to have clearance from your primary doctor before deciding to undergo elective oral surgery, though.
If you are a smoker, you will need to be able to quit for at least a month prior to implant surgery, as well as for a few weeks after. Smoking is detrimental to the healing process following surgery, and increases the risk of complications during surgery as well.
Schedule Your Dental Implants Consultation
If you have missing teeth, schedule your consultation by calling Cosmetic & Esthetic Dentistry at 781-350-4385 today. Dr. Clancy will discuss the benefits of dental implants, as well as let you know all of your options for tooth replacement.
We serve patients in Medford, Winchester, Somerville, Cambridge, and Boston, Massachusetts.