You may have heard the dental saying….” only floss the ones you want to keep!”. True, Dentists arenʼt known for their comedy routine, that’s for sure….but this phrase has stood the test of dental time…
Unlike our ocean living neighbors, aka Mr. Tiger shark, we get only get ONE set of adult teeth that NEED to last us a lifetime, and therefore taking care of our teeth should be high on our priority list! Brush, floss, and floss some more…Bottom line and truth be told, no matter the technology and the advancements in the dental field, keeping your own teeth healthy is always the best option!
However, for a variety of many reasons like gum disease, accidents, tooth decay, and even genetics, we can lose a tooth or two. Studies show that at least 120 million people in the U.S. are missing at least one tooth in their mouth.
So what to do when that happens?
Obviously, if itʼs in your smile line….you know you want it fixed ASAP!!!
But what about if it’s in the back (posterior) of your mouth and you canʼt really see it. Do you really need to replace your tooth and what is the best option?
First off, some basics…Every tooth in your mouth protects your jawbone and the surrounding healthy teeth. Leaving empty spaces in your mouth, after losing one or more teeth, can lead to health issues such as bone deterioration and the shifting of your existing teeth, which can alter your bite and change your smile.
Most people are familiar with the dental bridge solution where a lab makes a customized bridge that is then bonded from one tooth to another and includes a middle tooth (or Pontic) to replace your “missing” tooth. However, there is another very good option that many people are aware of but may not know some of the specifics. Dental implants. Dental implants have been around for quite a long time, however, the technology of the current ones is quite simply, “amazing.”
Dental implants are designed to provide a foundation for replacement teeth that look, feel and function like natural teeth. The ability to eat virtually anything is regained and to be able to smile with confidence is restored!
Most implants are titanium posts (or a combination thereof, which can have other benefits), that are placed into the jawbone where teeth are missing. The bone bonds with the titanium, creating a strong foundation for a crown. In addition, dental implants can help preserve facial structure, preventing bone deterioration which occurs when teeth are missing.
Dental implants are changing the way people live! With them, people are rediscovering the comfort and confidence to eat, speak, laugh and enjoy life.
Hereʼs a quick rundown on a Dental Implant Procedure
- Dental implants are basically metal anchors, which act as tooth root substitutes. Once a 3-D scan is taken, the implant(s) are surgically placed into the jawbone and allowed to heal and bond to your bone (grafting material which enhances the volume of bone, may need to be placed, which can extend the treatment time).
- After sufficient healing has taken place, (time frame varies with each person and type of implant) the next phase begins. At this point, an impression will be taken in the office. Our lab then customizes your new crown to compliment and blend in with your existing teeth.
- Small posts are then attached to the implant, which protrudes through the gums. These posts provide stable anchors for your dental crown(s). When more than one tooth is missing, an implant-supported bridge may also be an option for you to consider.
Depending on your bone health and density, this entire procedure can be done in as little 2 months (may take longer if your bone needs more time to bond for best results)
In our office, we use a Swiss-made dental Implant system called Straumann which uses a nitrogen-rich chamber when manufacturing the implant system, therefore preventing a carbon layer from forming on the outside of the implant. This advancement leads to a significant reduction in healing time as your body does not have to remove the carbon layer which is present in other implant systems.
The final outcome is so natural that no one needs to ever know except you and your dentist!
No need to ever be jealous of our resident Galeocerdo Cuviers…..(Mr. Tiger) with their almost infinite supply of teeth, dental implants can be a solution to your missing tooth!
If you want to discuss your options and find out if you are a candidate for dental implants, give our office a call at Wailea Dental Phone Number 808-875-8555.