Anyone who is dealing with tooth loss is most likely looking for a long-term solution to their problems. While there are a variety of options for treating your tooth loss, there is only one real alternative that promises a lifelong resolution, dental implants. Sound good? Dental implants can help you in several ways. In addition to filling in gaps and replacing missing teeth, dental implants also restore tooth functioning and improve speech. Different types of treatments are available to meet your needs, from replacing just one missing tooth with a single dental implant to all your teeth with implant supported dentures. At Kemlage Family Dentistry, Dr. Thomas Kemlage and Dr. Andrew Kemlage are your Fenton, MO, dentists for dental implants.
What is a dental implant?
By now you’ve probably heard about dental implants, but you may still not be sure what they are. These prosthetic replacements for a missing tooth are comprised of three parts: a small metal post (the implant), an abutment, and a dental crown. The crown is the part of your implant that is visible when you smile and is designed to look and function just like a natural tooth. While the implant is placed into the jawbone it’s the abutment that serves to connect the implant to the artificial tooth above the gumline.
How does a dental implant work?
The first step to getting a dental implant requires your dentist to drill a small hole into the jawbone where your implant will then be placed. The procedure is performed under local anesthesia so you won’t feel discomfort. Then the implant is placed, and the gums are stitched up.
Over the course of several weeks, osseointegration will take place. This is when the tissue and bone cells begin to attach to the surface of the implant, locking the implant into the jawbone. The durability of the material coupled with osseointegration makes the dental implant comparable to natural teeth—something that other prosthetic treatments just can’t promise. Your Fenton, MO, dentist can explain the specific ways in which dental implants can help you. Other benefits of dental implants include:
- Replacing missing teeth
- Filling in gaps in your smile
- Boosting self-confidence
- Restoring normal tooth functioning, including biting and chewing
- Improving speech by correcting tongue placement when speaking
- Creating a more youthful appearance by providing support for sagging facial muscles
Implant Supported Dentures
Dental implants can be used to anchor a complete or partial denture (similar to a bridge). The denture is designed to clip or clamp to the implants, giving you a much sturdier set of teeth. To be a candidate for this denture option, you must have sufficient healthy bone tissue. In most cases, about two to four implants are added to specific areas of the gum line to serve as supports for the device. Implant supported dentures are more stable than traditional dentures, as they are more likely to stay in place and less likely to move around.
There are some instances in which traditional removable dentures, whether full or partial, may be the right choice for your situation. From filling in gaps to replacing missing teeth, dentures provide several benefits. The two main types of dentures are partial and full. Partial dentures are best when you still have some natural teeth and do not need to replace a full set of teeth. Full dentures are necessary when there are no natural teeth remaining.
To learn more about dental implants, schedule an appointment with Dr. Thomas Kemlage or Dr. Andrew Kemlage, your Fenton, MO, dentists, by calling Kemlage Family Dentistry at (636) 225-1777.