A quick summary of Dental Implants and some photos!
Posted: September 20, 2012
Last Modified: March 9, 2022
Dental implants! You see the advertisements more and more widely, but are they all they are cracked up to be? In a word, yes. As we’ve said before, there is nothing as good as natural teeth, but implants are the most lifelike replacement tooth we have. Read on, and at the end we have some photos of a recently-completed case involving the replacement of an entire arch of teeth.
There are basically only three ways to replace teeth for the long term: dental implants, bridges, or removable dentures (complete or partial). In this spectrum, implants are the clear winner for predictability and longevity. They are also the most tooth-friendly, requiring no damage to the adjacent teeth. This is in contrast to bridges, which require significant damage to teeth, and removable partial dentures, which usually require some damage as well. To put it in perspective, unless there was some technical reason not to do an implant, this dentist would not even consider the other two options.
But dental implants are expensive, you say. To this, we say: “compared to a pair of socks, yes, implants are expensive. Compared to a house, they’re pretty cheap. When you compare apples to apples, ie: replacement body parts, they are priced correctly.” So, what’s your body part worth? Here are the key points to consider about dental implants and we hope that after reading, there is no uncertainty:
- best way to replace missing teeth
- most realistic of all replacement teeth
- does not require damage to any adjacent teeth
- longest lasting, in fact is expected to last a lifetime
- highest success rate of all tooth replacement methods
- over time, is actually less costly than a conventional bridge
- surgically pure titanium is placed into bone under anesthesia, and usually buried under the gum
- Bone healing is allowed to take place over 3-6 months
- Once healing is adequate, a tooth can be made to fit over top of the implant
- The whole process is less painful than the original tooth extraction and in normal cases, there is minimal downtime from work
In the event that there are multiple missing teeth in an arch, implants can also be used to support bridges or dentures. In extreme cases, an entire arch of teeth can be supported by implants.
Age is not a limiting factor in placement of implants. Quality of life is vastly improved as implant-supported dentures are more comfortable for chewing as compared to conventional dentures.