When you have a missing or compromised tooth, you have many decisions to make, so it's a good idea to gather as much information about your options as possible.
Dr. David King has many years of experience and extensive additional training in implant dentistry, and he helps patients preserve their smiles and dental health with tooth replacement. Here is what you should know about tooth replacement and why dental implants may be the best long-term investment for your smile.
Why You Should Replace a Missing Tooth
Besides your confidence level when you talk or smile, a missing tooth impacts many other things in your life.
Your ability to chew and enjoy food with ease is greatly diminished when you're missing one or multiple teeth.
There are also dental health concerns when you experience tooth loss. For example, your remaining teeth will begin to drift and move into the space if you don't replace a lost tooth. Drifting leads to bite misalignment, which can cause painful issues with your jaw joint. Bite misalignment can also result in fractures or other damage for teeth that are forced to do a job they're not designed for.
A lost tooth root means that your jawbone has nothing left to support. When a root does not stimulate your bone, it begins to dissolve or deteriorate. Bone loss means less support for your remaining healthy teeth. Bone loss can also change the appearance of your face, making you appear older than you are.
Dental implants are the only tooth replacement option that restores both your tooth and your root, solving all of these concerns and protecting your dental health.
Investigate Your Options
The choices for replacing one or more missing teeth are:
A bridge is a fixed appliance that uses healthy teeth to anchor two crowns on each side and support a prosthetic tooth.
The Pros: A bridge does not require surgery for placement, and it will fill in the gaps and keep your teeth from shifting while blending with your smile.
The Cons: A bridge requires your dentist to alter the tooth structure of two healthy teeth to anchor it. Bridges typically last for 12 to 15 years, and then they’ll need to be replaced. A bridge does not protect you from bone loss.
Full or Partial Dentures
These removable appliances allow you to replace multiple missing teeth (partial) or a whole arch of missing teeth (full dentures).
The Pros: Dentures provide excellent solutions when most or all of your teeth are compromised. Today’s dentures are thoughtfully designed, so they look more natural and fit better.
The Cons: Full dentures rely on a snug fit to stay in place, and the pressure they put on your jawbone can cause it to deteriorate. Your denture may not fit as well over time due to bone loss. Because this is a removable appliance, there also may be a learning curve as you get used to eating and talking with your new denture.
A dental implant restores your root with a biocompatible titanium post placed into your bone and your tooth with a customized ceramic porcelain crown.
The Pros: An implant restores function and beauty to your smile while also protecting your dental health by replacing your root and tooth. Implants look, feel, and function like a natural tooth.
The Cons: The implant itself requires surgery to place it into your jawbone, and it needs three to six months to heal before it can support your new crown.
The Dental Implant Process
Dr. King has the skills and expertise to complete your implant procedure from start to finish here at our Huntsville dental office, including your implant placement surgery.
Once you’ve decided that a dental implant is right for you, Dr. King will place your implant into your bone and allow it time to heal and integrate with it. This process can take anywhere from three to six months to allow your dental implant to fully fuse with your bone.
When your implant is fully healed, it is ready to support your new tooth, which is a ceramic porcelain crown that Dr. King will customize to blend flawlessly with your smile.
Once your crown is placed, you’ll be able to eat, chew, and smile again with confidence. You can ensure your dental implant's longevity by committing to a consistent home care routine of daily brushing and flossing. Checkups with your dentist every six months will also protect the health of your dental implant.
The Advantages of Choosing Dental Implants
Tooth implants offer several advantages over other replacement options, such as:
- The function, feel, and look of a natural tooth
- Excellent longevity – A dental implant can potentially last a lifetime with the right care
- Implants can replace multiple teeth by supporting a bridge or denture
- Tooth implants protect against bone loss
- An implant may be a wise long-term investment since it won’t need replacing
Contact King Dental for More Information on Dental Implants in Huntsville, AL
If you’re considering tooth replacement, Dr. King would love to discuss your options with you so you can make the best choice for your smile. Contact King Dental today at (256) 880-1884 to schedule an evaluation.