Losing a tooth or multiple teeth can be very traumatic and emotional. A missing tooth that is visible when smiling can make you feel very self-conscious. Depending on the location of the tooth, the ability to chew your foods comfortably and adequately can be compromised. The good news is that dental implants can help restore the function and cosmetics of your mouth due to missing teeth!
Many Uses for Dental Implants
We can use dental implants in a variety of ways to replace missing teeth. These include:
- Replacing a single missing tooth
- Replacing multiple missing teeth with a fixed implant bridge
- Using the dental implants to help secure and snap on removable dentures or partial dentures
What is a Dental Implant?
A dental implant is a medical grade titanium screw that is surgically placed in your jawbone. Since titanium is biocompatible, your bone will naturally integrate and fuse with the implant. After the bone has healed and integrated with the dental implant, we can place the dental restoration. A dental implant is composed of three pieces:
- The implant post or screw: This is surgically placed in the jawbone and replaces the missing root from your natural tooth
- The implant abutment: This is the component that connects the implant post or screw with the dental restoration
- The implant restoration: This is the visible part that provides the function and appearance such as a crown, bridge or removable denture
At Drs. Dixon and Dixon, we can discuss your missing tooth concerns and together, with a top periodontist or oral surgeon in the Ft. Lauderdale area, determine the right implant treatment plan for you.
Benefits of Dental Implants
Once a tooth is missing, the bone in that area will shrink and be lost. The adjacent teeth can drift, and your bite can change. Healthy teeth, opposite of the missing space, can drift and cause eventual tooth loss. By replacing a missing tooth or multiple missing teeth with a dental implant, we can prevent all these things.
When replacing a single tooth, a dental implant is like having your very own tooth back. There is no need to anchor and crown the adjacent teeth as with a conventional bridge, just to replace one tooth. When treatment planned and placed properly, a dental implant to replace a single missing tooth is the optimal treatment option.
When missing multiple teeth, an implant retained bridge is an excellent alternative to a removable partial denture. An implant bridge is fixed and does not come out. Patients find this treatment option much more desirable than having a partial denture.
Many people have difficulties wearing dentures, and especially a full lower denture. By placing implants in the jawbone, the denture can now snap in securely and be worn without movement or the need for denture adhesive. Patients find an implant retained over-denture very comfortable and a great option to help secure their dentures.
Care of Dental Implants
While dental implants cannot get decay or a cavity, it is still important to see your Ft. Lauderdale dentist for regular cleanings and exams. The gum tissue around the implant needs to stay healthy to prevent peri-implantitis, which is the inflammation of the gum tissue around the implant and loss of the bone that supports the screw. It is essential that you brush and floss daily and keep your implants and the gum tissues healthy.
If you are missing a tooth or multiple teeth and interested in learning more about dental implants, call Drs. Dixon and Dixon in Ft. Lauderdale to schedule your consultation today.