Did you know that the average adult between the ages of 20 and 64 has three or more decayed or missing teeth? The reasons can vary - sports-related injuries, cavities & infection, periodontal disease, etc. Although replacing a missing tooth is often considered a purely aesthetic need, filling a hole in your mouth has multiple health benefits.
Your teeth were designed to last a lifetime, but sometimes they don't! Replacing missing teeth is important to your general health and to the health of your other teeth. Not only do you lose chewing ability when a tooth is lost, but unreplaced teeth can cause other teeth to be lost, tipped or crowded and create subsequent problems.
Also, there are the obvious problems of poor appearance and loss of self-esteem caused by one or more missing teeth. Replacement of lost teeth with dental implants has been used for treating missing teeth for more than 50 years and is recognized as an effective treatment choice. Treatment is considered more predictable than bridgework, resin bonded bridges and endodontic treatment. To learn in detail what a dental implant is and how the procedure of inserting one is done, please read here. For our excellent implantologist, Dr. Ghazi's credentials, go here. If you are concerned with the financial side of the matter, whether your insurance will be able to cover it, now is a great time to plan your treatment, before the insurance benefits run out at the end of the year. Wellesley Dental Group office offers financing, CareCredit and is happy to guide you through the process (call 781-237-9071 with questions).
Am I a candidate for implants? Implants may be the right choice for anyone missing one or more teeth. Your dentist can determine if you are a candidate for dental implants after a careful evaluation of your dental and medical history.
Do I have enough bone? It is important for a patient to have enough bone to support the implant. If you don't, there are many safe and effective ways to correct bone deficiency. Your dentist will assess this and advise you if additional bone material is needed.
How long does the process take? Treatment time can vary greatly depending on your needs. Each situation needs a separate evaluation; your dentist will be able to give you an approximate timetable.
Whom should I consult for my implant treatment? Your general dentist is your first resource. The key is the implant dentist's training, experience and credentials. AAID credentialed dentists Include general dentists, periodontists, prosthodontists and oral surgeons who perform the surgical and/or restorative procedures. See here for our excellent implantologist, Dr. Ghazi's credentials.
1. Functions and looks like a natural tooth. Improving biting/chewing, the look and feel of the tooth that was lost.
2. Preserving the integrity of facial structures. The implants is preventing the bone resorption, that can otherwise occur - the jawbone can deteriorate, losing its strength and firmness. Dental implants are the only dental restoration option that preserves and stimulates natural bone, actually helping to stimulate bone growth and prevent bone loss.
3. Confidence boost, quality of life improvement. With implant supported replacement teeth, the appearance of the smile is more natural and the teeth function more like natural teeth. The result is increased comfort and confidence when smiling, speaking, and eating your favorite foods. Long term esthetics are usually much better with an implant supported replacement tooth than with a traditional tooth supported bridge.
4. Long-lasting solution. Traditional, tooth-supported dental bridges only last five to seven years, and with proper care often more than 10 years, but at some point they may need to be replaced. While dental implants may need periodic adjustments, they can last a lifetime when properly placed and cared for over time. It is considered an orthodontic treatment with one of the most reliable and predictable results in the industry.
5. Improved appearance. Since implants preserve bone, preventing deterioration of the facial structures, appearance is improved. Collapse of the lower one-third of the face caused by complete tooth loss can be visually corrected and the remaining bone preserved. The appearance of wrinkles around the mouth caused by posterior bite collapse, or complete facial structure collapse is virtually eliminated.
6. Adjacent teeth are not compromised to replace missing teeth. Sometimes, patients prefer choosing a traditional tooth-supported bridge that requires grinding down the teeth adjacent to the missing tooth/teeth, so that the bridge can be cemented onto them. This tooth structure can never be replaced and the long-term health of these teeth is compromised. Partial dentures have clasps that hook onto adjacent teeth, putting pressure on them as the partial rocks back and forth. Eventually these teeth can loosen and come out as a result of this pressure. Replacing missing teeth with implant supported crowns/bridges does not involve the adjacent natural teeth, so they are not compromised, or damaged.
7. Convenient oral hygiene. It is much easier to care for an implant supported crown, which can be cleaned like a natural tooth. In comparison, a tooth supported bridge requires the use of a floss threader for proper cleaning. It is also more convenient to clean a full set of implant supported replacement teeth than a traditional denture. Also, there is no more worrying that your dentures might slip or fall out.
Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group if you have any thoughts or concerns; they will be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or firstname.lastname@example.org to set up an appointment and consultation.
Your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist Dr. Kim or Dr.Pradhan. Dr. Emad is happy to help with your orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions, dental implants or any other oral surgery set up an appointment with Dr. Ghazi.
Image credit: Wellesley Dental Group