Did you know the average adult is missing two teeth? Before dental implants, dentists replaced teeth by restoring parts that were visible above the gumline with bridges. The solution allowed the patient to temporarily resume a more varied diet and smile confidently, yet only replaced half of the tooth.
Dr. Danny Hayes from Advanced Dental Concepts (ADC) explained the health and cost benefits of dental implants, and why it’s important to pick the optimal tooth replacement option.
“Tooth replacements in the past relied on fixed bridges or removable partial dentures,” he said. “The advantage of dental implants is that they replace the entire tooth – crown and root - and help prevent bone loss. Without the root of a tooth or a dental implant, bone loss is an ongoing issue and concern,” Hayes said.
Because of this, dentists may recommend dental implants - a solution that restores the entire tooth from the roots up. Here’s the breakdown of various implant options.
Implant Restorations - For those who need one tooth replaced.
Process: Phase 1
Dental implants are surgically placed below the gum line. Dr. Hayes makes a small incision in the gum line where the implant will be placed and then inserts it where it best supports the replacement prosthetic tooth. Before patients leave, a protective healing cap is placed on top to allow gums and supportive tissue to fuse to the implant.
Process: Phase 2
Over the next six to 12 weeks, the implant will fuse with the jawbone and gum tissue, a process known as osseointegration, in order to mimic the lost root structure. Once this is complete, the patient will return to have the replacement teeth fabricated and attached to the dental implants.
“With implants, home care is identical to natural teeth,” Hayes said. “You don’t have the same complex cleaning regiment that is needed with a bridge. An implant is as natural as you can get.”
Mini Dental Implants - For those who are looking to replace smaller teeth in the front of the mouth. It can also be used for those who do not have adequate jawbone quantity to support a full-size implant.
Implant-Retained Crowns & Bridges
This option offers a natural looking and feeling solution for those who are missing one or more teeth.
For patients with one or more missing teeth, at least two implants will be placed, supporting both ends of the fixed bridge prosthetic.
For those with severely compromised teeth or complete tooth loss.
“You can use implants to secure a denture. Dentures alone are oftentimes the last option and don't feel like natural teeth,” Hayes said. “Having implants can feel more natural and secure because the denture snaps onto the implant like a button or clasp.”
Dentures are supported by at least two strategically-placed dental implants along the arch, rather than being held in place by teeth of gum tissue. This option restores greater functionality to the replacement teeth, so patients can feel confident when eating, speaking, or smiling.
“For many, when a tooth is missing, a bridge seems like the only option. Patients should consider that bridges have a lifespan and will need to be replaced, and the long-term cost of a bridge could be much higher than that of an implant,” Dr. Hayes said. “Implants have a 98% success rate and could be a life-long restoration.”
Advanced Dental Concepts offer free consultations for those who think they may benefit from Dental Implants. Call 219-310-1180, or visit their website for more information https://www.adc4smiles.com/.