At Buxton Dentistry , we have found that dental implants are truly able to enhance the quality of life for our patients. Dental implants can improve our patients' overall health, while helping them gain the confidence that comes from a well-functioning smile that looks good and feels natural.
There are many benefits to replacing missing teeth with dental implants, they are:
- Maintain the integrity of bone structure after tooth loss
- Preserve the health of adjacent teeth, since there is no need for bridgework
- Replace loose-fitting dentures
- Distribute bite forces evenly throughout the mouth
- Function and feel like natural teeth
- Improve speaking ability when bulky dentures are eliminated
- Improve facial appearance by preventing bone loss
Why Dental Implants?
Losing a tooth can be devastating, not only because it affects the way you look, but also because it can lead to other physical problems that may affect your health and prevent you from smiling with confidence. It is vitally important to promptly replace missing teeth with dental implants in order to prevent conseqeuences such as:
- Bone loss
- Shifting and drifting of the teeth
- Alteration in the bite as a result of shifting teeth
- Jaw joint problems
- Difficulty in chewing properly
- Additional stress on the remaining teeth
Bridges vs. Implants
For many patients in our Salt Lake City office, dental implants offer clear advantages over traditional bridgework or dentures. Before dental implants were perfected, in order to replace missing teeth we had to fashion tooth-supported bridges or removable dentures.
With bridges, healthy tooth structure had to be ground away by reshaping neighboring teeth, which allowed us to use them as supports for anchoring the new bridge. Unfortunately, these support teeth would be subjected to forces beyond their threshold, so the bone surrounding these teeth would begin to melt away and resorb, thus weakening their natural support system.
Esthetically, dark shadows would appear around the bridge as the bone and gum began to pull away from the support teeth. There was also an additional risk that the pressure on the bridge could open up a gap between the tooth and the bridge, forcing bacteria leakage and decay and leading to the possibility of root canals. What’s more, bridges connecting three or more teeth together made flossing difficult or impossible for patients.
The psychological effects of tooth loss are complex and are different for everyone. A person's social life may be severely affected to the point that they will avoid romantic situations for fear their partner will discover the tooth loss. If there is severe bone loss after multiple teeth have been missing for years, facial disfigurement will occur, often accompanied by the appearance of premature aging.
While dentures can give a sense of esthetic security, they can also cause damage by placing excessive forces on the underlying bone structure, leading to bone loss. Eventually, the dentures will need relining or complete replacement. All of these problems can be prevented with dental implants.
What are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are biocompatible titanium replacements of the tooth's anchoring roots. Dental implants replace missing teeth by mimicking nature as closely as possible.
At our dentist office in Salt Lake City, dental implant restorations have three parts:
- Titanium, bone-integrated implant
- Implant abutment
- Implant porcelain crown
What is the dental implant process?
- Planning stage: Planning is the most important part of the process. A carefully and intelligently thought-out treatment plan is the difference between success and failure. Sometimes we may require specialized imaging to visualize the bone condition and three-dimensional viewing to ensure proper placement.
- Implant placement: our NYC Smile Design specialist will place the dental implant in the ideal spot to form the gum tissue around the implant.
- Healing: the bone around the dental implant will grow and integrate with the new Straumann implant in a matter of a few weeks.
- Temporary restoration: if the dental implant is in a readily visible area, a temporary restoration may be placed for esthetic purposes while the site heals.
- Abutment placement: when healing is complete, the dental implant abutment is placed to connect the dental implant to the porcelain crown.
- Porcelain crown: once our ceramist fabricates the new porcelain crown to exact specifications, we bond the crown to the abutment.
Can anyone get dental implants?
Anyone with missing teeth is a candidate for dental implants. It does not matter how old you are, but it does matter how young. It is inadvisable to place dental implants during in the early teen years, since the dental and facial bones are still forming at that age.
The best time to place a dental implant is at time of tooth extraction, or shortly thereafter. However, we have placed dental implants successfully years after tooth loss. What’s important is the presence of an adequate amount of healthy bone to surround the newly placed dental implant.
Call us today at 801-278-3214 to schedule your free dental implant consultation!