Replacing missing teeth is not just a matter of cosmetics but also a matter of overall health and wellness. When a lost tooth has not been replaced the teeth on either side become more susceptible to decay and wear. Missing teeth can be replaced with dentures, partial plates, or implants.
Why Implanted Teeth?
Poorly fitting dentures can limit what you can eat and even affect your speech. Teeth that are implanted are more like natural teeth than bridges or dentures. As implanted teeth are more like your real teeth speech is clear and the diet will not have to be restricted.
Just like real teeth implanted teeth are anchored to your jaw. Implanted teeth will not slip or fall out the way that traditional dentures can.
Besides compromising the health of the remaining teeth, A missing tooth also compromises the health of the jaw. The bone that the tooth was anchored to begins to deteriorate increasing the probability of further tooth loss.
More closely mimicking real teeth dental implants feel and look more like a natural tooth or teeth.
On the long side, dentures will last seven years before the way they fit changes. Once this occurs dentures have to be relined, rebased, or replaced. Brushing and flossing also benefit implanted teeth and can help them last ten plus years.
There are dental practices that specialize in affordable implants.
Anatomy of an Implant
Implanted teeth are supported by titanium or a titanium alloy. Titanium is used because through a process called osseointegration bone will form around titanium creating a natural anchor for the post or frame.
The tooth itself is individually made to replicate the lost tooth. Porcelain or other materials with a coloring similar to natural teeth are used to make the replacement tooth.
Who Is Eligible For Implant Surgery?
It takes several months for implantation surgery to be fully completed. The patient has to be wholly committed to the procedure.
Children may receive implanted teeth, but the procedure is generally recommended for adults because the jaws of children and teenagers are still developing. For adults, the only potential limitation is not being strong enough to undergo surgery.
Implantation surgery may be contraindicated for patients with significant deterioration of the jaw bone. The titanium post that supports the implanted crown has to fuse with the jaw bone. The tissues of the mouth also need to be healthy.
The patient has to be either unable or unwilling to wear dentures. The patient cannot suffer from any illnesses that impede healing of the bone.
Implant Surgery Explained
Before any surgery, a course of treatment is mapped out. In the first phase of the implant surgery, the implant post is inserted into the jaw bone. Nothing more can be done until the bone heals around the post. Depending on the patient it can take weeks or months for osseointegration to occur.
The second phase is to screw the abutment into the post. During phase three an impression of the teeth and mouth are made. The impression will be used to mold the replacement tooth.
The last phase entails the crown being attached to the post. The new crown will be colored to match the natural teeth.
Paying For Implanted Teeth
Most insurances do not cover tooth implant surgery. There are companies that finance the procedure making it more affordable.