No one should have to live without teeth. Fortunately, modern dentistry offers several replacement solutions for patients who have lost their natural teeth.
Dental implants act as replacements for the roots of missing teeth. Most implants consist of tiny titanium or titanium alloy screws that contain the same metals used in other bone implant procedures, like orthopedic joint replacements. Line natural tooth roots, they’re secured into the jawbone and aren’t visible after surgery is complete.
Once the dental implant has had time to integrate with the jawbone, it can be used to support any form of dental prosthesis the patient requires. This can include crowns, bridgework or dentures, depending on the patient.
Three million patients in the U.S. already have dental implants, a number which is growing by 500,000 a year. Implants can last a lifetime with proper care and maintenance, and have a success rate of 98%, making one of them the most effective tooth replacement methods.
Removable and/or Implant-Supported Dentures
Removable dentures can be used in cases of extensive tooth, bone or gum-tissue loss, to allow patients to chew and to keep the facial structure from collapsing. Most dentures are removable, allowing for easier repair and cleaning.
Traditional dentures are held in by a tight fit or by denture adhesives, but many modern dentures snap onto six dental implants for support. This can help prevent further jaw decay and protect the gums by reducing denture slippage.
Bridges and Crowns
Unlike removable dentures, many bridges are bonded or cemented into place and can only be removed by a dentist or oral surgeon. Some bridges, however, are anchored by snapping onto adjacent teeth for support and can be removed for cleaning and maintenance.
An estimated 15 million people across the U.S. have crown and bridge replacements to substitute for missing teeth (crowns typically replace one tooth).
If you’re missing teeth, there’s no need for it to control your life. Ask your dentist what you can do to restore your smile.