Dental implants are becoming an increasingly popular method for replacing missing teeth. In this procedure, titanium supports are precisely placed into the bone where the tooth used to be, and act as an anchor for naturally looking porcelain crowns. Dental implants are not only used for individual tooth replacement, but can also be used when replacing multiple teeth as an alternative to dentures. In addition, patients who currently wear dentures can have the stability and retention significantly improved by having their dentures ‘snap and lock’ onto dental implants.
Dental implants require adequate height and width of bone in order for them to work. If the bone levels are inadequate, additional bone (bone graft) needs to be placed at the site prior to placing an implant. The best time to place bone in the site is at the time of the extraction. Once this new bone gets incorporated into the patient’s own bone (after 4-6 months), an implant can be placed successfully.
Advantages of dental implants
- Implants are extremely natural looking unlike bridges where adjacent teeth are being used to hold the missing tooth in place, implants are totally independent of other teeth, making it easier to clean and maintain
- Fusion of the implants into your jaw make them very stable and comfortable compared to traditional dentures
- They last a lifetime
- Implant costs are close to that of a bridge
Disadvantages of dental implants
- Implants are more costly than dentures
- The process of getting implants can be time consuming and requires multiple visits to the dentist
- There is a chance the surgery fails (less than 5% of the time)
For more information about whether or not you are a candidate for dental implants, please don’t hesitate to come in for a complimentary consultation.