More than 30 million Americans are missing all of their teeth in one or both jaws. By the age of 74, 76% of adults have lost all of their permanent teeth. 69% of adults ages 35 to 44 have lost at least one permanent tooth to an accident, gum disease, a failed root canal or tooth decay.
Although you have a number of restorative options for the treatment of missing teeth, none have proven to be as functionally effective and durable as dental implants. In many cases, dental implants may be the only logical choice for the restoration of all necessary functionality of the teeth and supporting structures.
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Dental implants are precision devices that are used to replace the root of a missing tooth. These titanium screws or cylinders are anchored into the jawbone where it can support a single tooth crown, a multi-tooth bridge, or stabilize a removable partial or full denture.
You will feel self-conscious when you smile or talk. Tooth loss will have a negative effect on your eating habits, which could lead to health problems like malnutrition.
You will also experience bone loss if you have missing teeth. Bone loss occurs because when a tooth is missing, the bone may erode and weaken since there is no tooth supporting the bone.
Your teeth will naturally try to close the gap of your missing tooth which will cause spacing between your teeth and increase oral hygiene difficulty (See Figure 1).
In most cases, dental implants are stronger and more durable than bridges and dentures. Single implants can serve to support your crown replacing a single missing tooth. Implants can also support a dental bridge for replacement of multiple missing teeth. Patients with full dentures often struggle with instability and discomfort which limits their function. Implants placed to help stabilize a denture can decrease pain and allow you to chew without difficulty.
The importance of this procedure is to create a functional and structural connection between your bone and the dental implant. This process is done through what is called Osseointegration, which anchors the root of the dental implant to your jaw bone.
Dental implants have been utilized for over 30 years. Studies have consistently shown success rates above 95%.
Because dental implants bond to your bone, crowns attached to your dental implants look and act similar to natural teeth. When brushing and flossing your dental implants you must use the proper techniques that you use on your natural teeth.