There is no better way to replace missing teeth than dental implants. This approach is long lasting and helps preserve tooth-supporting bone that naturally deterioriates with tooth loss.
A dental implant is usually created by installing a screw-shaped titanium post to replace the root part of a missing tooth. This is a routine surgical procedure that, in most cases,requires only local anesthesia. After a healing period of several months, you’ll retun to the office where Dr Leach will cap your implant with a custom made crown (link to crown page). As the implant heals, the post actually fuses to the surrounding bone. Implants are over 95% successful, by far the highest rate of succes for dental repair.
During a minor surgical procedure, your dental implant is inserted directly into the jawbone in the space vacated by the missing tooth. It will then be left to heal for a period of months before the final crown is attached. During this healing period, the implant actually fuses to the bone surrounding it.
Replace One Tooth — When you have one tooth missing, a single implant is inserted into the bone to replace the root part of that tooth; a crown then goes on top to simulate an actual tooth. This treatment choice has the highest success rate, making it the best long-term investment for replacing a single missing tooth. Even if the initial cost is slightly higher than other options, it is the most cost-effective solution over time. An implant will never decay or need root canal treatment, and feels just like the tooth that was there.
Replace Multiple Teeth — When you have more than one tooth missing, implants provide an ideal replacement mechanism. You don’t even need one implant for every missing tooth. Instead, implant teeth can act as supports for fixed bridgework. For example, if you are missing three teeth in a row, we can place two implants, one on either side of the gap, and a crown in between that has no implant underneath. That way, you won’t need to use any of your remaining natural teeth as bridge supports, which could weaken them and make them more susceptible to decay.
Replace All Teeth Permanently — Implants can support an entire arch of upper or lower replacement teeth that are fixed into the mouth and are never removed. Sometimes the new teeth can be supported by as few as 4 implants. It’s comparable to the structure of a table, which only needs 4 legs to hold it up. In cases where jawbone density and volume have deteriorated, 5 or 6 implants might be needed to support a row of 10 to 12 teeth. Dental implant replacement teeth protect your jawbone, won’t slip, and should last a lifetime.
Support Removable Dentures — Implants can even make removable dentures more comfortable, effective and healthier to wear. Traditional dentures rest on the gums and put pressure on the underlying bone. This accelerates bone loss so that the jaw shrinks and the dentures slip, particularly on the bottom. But today dentists can attach a removable denture onto implants, transferring that pressure into the bone structure rather than the bone surface. This prevents the dentures from slipping while you eat and speak, and preserves the bone directly beneath them.
Once it has become successfully fused, there are only two ways an implant can fail: poor oral hygiene or excessive biting force.
Poor oral hygiene and/or a lack of regular cleanings can lead to a destructive infection called peri-implantitis. Flossing and brushing your teeth every day, along with regular professional cleanings at Steven Leach Dental, are important preventative measures.
Excessive biting forces result from either prolonged clenching/grinding, or an insufficient number of implants. Dr Leach will take great care to ensure that you receive the correct number of implants to handle the force of your bite. If you have a habit of grinding or clenching your teeth, we recommend a nightguard to protect your implants.