Missing teeth make it hard to eat the foods that you love and can also wreak havoc with your self-esteem. No one wants to have missing teeth. But what is the solution? For many people, it’s dentures or bridgework because those are treatments covered by most dental plans.
No one is ever going to tell you that dental implants aren’t expensive. But if you can fit them into your budget, they’re much better than dentures or bridgework, because they feel and function exactly the same way as your natural teeth. If your overall dental health is good, the bone structure in your mouth is strong and expense isn’t a concern, dental implants are the best solution.
Even if the bone in your jaw isn’t all that strong, you could still be a candidate for dental implants. Bone grafting can be done – it is simply a procedure of taking bone from other areas to build up your jawbone structure.
What are Dental Implants All About?
There is a misconception that dental implants are a means of inserting fake teeth into your jaw. This is sort of correct, but there’s much more to it than that. The “fake” teeth are not actually placed in your jaw – what is placed there is a screw, made of titanium, which is a very strong metal. This is the implant. The “fake tooth” is actually a crown that is anchored to the implant. Often, several crowns are anchored to a single implant. At Chesterfield Family & Cosmetic Dental in Springfield, MO, we actually favor what is known as the “All-on-4” method of dental implants. With this method, you actually need only four implants (titanium screws) to anchor a full set of prosthetic teeth in your upper or lower jaw. It is less expensive than traditional implants, so you not only require less surgery, you save money too.
Dental implants are indistinguishable from your natural teeth, both in terms of appearance and function. They restore full functionality to your mouth and restore your appearance. You also don’t have to worry about bone loss in your jaw, the way you do with denture or bridgework – implants actually encourage bone growth!
Bone loss is what makes your face look old before it’s time. With dental implants, that’s not a concern. Also, with implants, you never have to worry about slipping or sliding, even when you’re eating foods that are very difficult to chew – that’s because implants are anchored in your jaw, not just placed over your existing teeth. You can have steak, corn on the cob, apples, taffy – whatever you want – without having to worry about being embarrassed.
Thanks to advances in modern dentistry, implant surgery is fairly routine. It’s done using a local anesthetic, the same as you would have if you were getting a filling. Once the implants are installed, you will need some time for your jaw to heal – usually a few months. To get you over the healing period, Dr. Buzbee will provide you with a set of temporary dentures so you won’t have to be embarrassed by missing teeth. Then, once the healing is complete, Dr. Buzbee will make your crowns and install them. You will have a full set of functional teeth.
Dental Implant Care
Your dental implants require no different care than your natural teeth – in other words, you will have to brush and floss regularly. Although your implants will not decay and neither will the crowns that they support, you still have to think about your gums. If you develop gum disease due to poor oral hygiene, your implants could fail. If you care for your implants the same way you would your natural teeth though, they should last you for the rest of your life.
You don’t have to live with missing teeth. If you would like to learn more about the benefits of dental implants, contact Chesterfield Family & Cosmetic Dental Center at 417-888-0771, or use the convenient form on our Contact Us page to book an appointment. Visit our FAQs page to answer your questions.