If you have a single tooth to replace like millions of other Americans do, or you need to replace multiple consecutive teeth at a time, you’ll find dental implant crowns and bridges to be quite a revolutionary treatment. Essentially, you don’t have to rely on neighboring teeth as anchors to hold restorations when you use dental implants instead. By placing a single or multiple implants at a time, you can replace your tooth roots just as much as you do the tooth itself!
Traditionally, tooth replacement requires some removal of tooth enamel. In the case of bridges, nearby teeth need to be modified so they can effectively hold a bridge, much like how a single tooth needs to have enamel removed to accompany a crown. In the case of dental implants, whether it’s for holding a single crown or a bridge, the titanium post does all of the heavy lifting. After it has been placed directly into your jaw bone and had time to integrate with your bone and soft tissue, your brand-new tooth should feel almost identical to your previous tooth.
If you are missing single or multiple teeth, chances are you are a good candidate for dental implants. With that said, it’s important that you have good oral health as well as good gum health. The better your oral health, the more effective treatment will be. If you currently use tobacco, you’ll need to discontinue it as you begin treatment. Tobacco can be detrimental to the healing process and even cause complications following your placement.
During the actual procedure, you’ll receive local anesthetic to numb your gum tissue as the implant is being placed. To start, we create a small incision inside the gum tissue, then gently place the titanium post into the jaw. After closing the gum tissue, we give it four to six months to heal and integrate. You’ll come back for periodic visits so we can evaluate your progress. An abutment (or connector) is eventually placed inside of the implant so the restoration has a foundation to rest on. In the case of implant-retained bridges, we may place a pair of dental implants, especially if you are replacing three teeth at a time.
When you choose implant-retained crowns and bridges to replace teeth, you’re not just getting a long-term tooth replacement. You’re getting something that is designed to last between 25 years and the rest of your life when properly maintained. Furthermore, once the implants have integrated, your jaw bone will be regularly stimulated. This means that your biting force will be at its strongest and eating chewy or tough foods (i.e. steak and apples) is easier than ever before. Additionally, oral care is easy to perform, especially since the restoration cannot develop decay.