The effects of tooth loss
Tooth loss does a lot more than alter the look of the smile. When a tooth is lost, so is the root. Roots are as important to the jawbone as they are to tooth stability. Through decades of treatment with dentures, we have seen the long-term effect that tooth loss can have on the jaw and, subsequently, on the facial structure as a whole. Having missing teeth will make you look old!
How implants work
Dental implants are the root replacement dentists have searched for. These prosthetics are tiny posts made of titanium. Inserted into the jawbone in a very simple procedure performed under local anesthesia, implants become stabilized by bone tissue, which is stimulated to grow around individual posts. This stabilization occurs over several months during which the implant post sits undisturbed.
Why patients choose implants for tooth replacement in the Alpharetta area
Documented research on the success of dental implants shows that the replacement of the missing tooth achieves more than a 95 percent rate of success. No other form of tooth replacement has come close to this level of success.
Smile GalleryActual images of patients
Implants can restore the smile in a number of ways:
- Single tooth replacement. A single implant with crown is a wonderful, cost-effective alternative to the fixed bridge. Because no healthy teeth are altered and used for support, the implant is a more conservative treatment option.
- Replacement of multiple teeth. Depending on the positions of missing teeth, it may be possible to replace several with just one or two implants and an overlying bridge. The implant-supported bridge is appropriate when several adjacent teeth need to be replaced. Individual teeth with natural teeth in between can be replaced with solitary implants and crowns.Implants as an alternative to bridgework may be initially more expensive, but the lifelong results and preservation of natural tooth structure make this option a wise investment. Altering healthy teeth to support the dental bridge makes them more susceptible in the long-run, even if they are covered with dental crowns.
- Permanent replacement of all teeth. Due to stabilization in the bone, implants can efficiently support a full row of artificial teeth. Depending on the condition of bone tissue in the jaw, Dr. Hepler may suggest as few as four to six implants to support as many as a dozen teeth in an arch.
- Support for removable dentures. In recent years, many patients have taken advantage of the opportunity to stabilize an otherwise shaky denture appliance with implants. There are several benefits to supporting a removable denture with a few strategically placed implants. Dentures that are well supported are more comfortable to wear because they do not slide across gum tissue. The presence of implants in the jaw promotes stimulation that significantly slows the breakdown of bone tissue, keeping the lips and cheeks well supported. And keeping you looking younger!
Caring for implants
One of the wonderful aspects of tooth replacement with implants is that the materials are resistant to corrosion. Although new teeth will not decay, routine home care and professional checkups and cleanings are vital to the ongoing success of implants. Without proper maintenance, there is a risk for peri-implantitis, a bacterial infection that can cause the destruction of healthy tissue.