How dental implants replace missing teeth and support the lasting health and aesthetics of your smile
Over time, the latest dental science and technologies have heightened patient comfort, safety, satisfaction with treatment, and the overall patient experience. The modern dental implant is one of the most revolutionary innovations that dental professionals have to restore and maintain the health and aesthetics of patients’ smiles. At Jepsen, Murphy & Associates Dental, we are happy to introduce you to this exciting form of tooth replacement.
Dental implants 101
Dental implants are different from “traditional” forms of tooth replacement. Conventional dental bridges or removable partial and complete dentures are made to replace the parts of the teeth that are visible when you smile. The traditional bridge replaces the natural crown, which may be lost due to dental decay or periodontal (gum) disease. The replacement tooth in a bridge is held in place by neighboring teeth. To service as “anchors,” these neighbors must be crowned. Crowns require the removal of tooth structure. So, the crown then fits on top of the tooth properly.
Traditional partial dentures replicate both the teeth and the gums. The prosthetic teeth and gums are held in place by clasps or other attachments. These attachments connect to existing teeth. Conventional full or complete dentures also replicate both the teeth and the gums. But they replace all the teeth in the upper or lower arch(es) (jaws). The prosthetic gum tissue or denture base is held in place by natural suction. So, precision fit is vital to the comfort and functionality of the full denture. Patients may need to use denture adhesive or other products to aid in stabilizing their dentures. For continued satisfaction with dentures, it is vital that patients regularly see their dentist for relining and other adjustments to fit. There is also an adjustment process, as patients learn how to speak and eat with their dentures and how to soak and otherwise clean their teeth properly.
Dental implants are designed like natural, healthy teeth. The implant functions like a tooth root to stabilize or support the replacement tooth (dental crown). Implants are made from materials that naturally and safely “fuse” to the surrounding bone. So, the implant becomes part of the jaw. Once the crown is connected to it, the implant provides for the ultimate in stability. Our patients love implants because they:
- Don’t slide around
- Are comfortable, don’t cause irritating sores
- Look like real teeth
- Feel like real teeth
- Are conservative – do not require reducing or altering existing teeth (like with bridges)
- Restore and maintain healthy chewing and other functions
- Are hassle-free and do not require special care or products for maintenance
- Naturally keep the jawbone strong – no need for ongoing adjustments for “fit”
- Are a great value and a good investment in your long-term health and smile
In fact, a few implants can be placed in such a way as to support a maximum number of teeth. Some patients have even replaced all of the teeth in their upper or lower jaw with as few as four implants. This feature of the implants process helps keep treatment affordable and minimizes time spent at the dentist’s office, trauma to the treatment sites, and healing.
We look forward to discussing your options for treatment and encourage patients to get on a schedule of regular check-ups as soon as possible. Our skilled team may be able to preserve a damaged tooth. If teeth are already missing from your smile, it is imperative to promptly replace them (avoiding the effects of destructive and progressive bone loss). Call (303) 800-6884 to schedule your appointment at our office, which proudly serves individuals and families throughout the Westminster, Northglenn, Arvada, Boulder, and Thornton areas.
Dental implants are titanium roots, that are replaced with in the jawbone to resemble a tooth or group of teeth. A screw is inserted through the gums and into the jawbone. A porcelain crown is then attached to the screw to become the new tooth or teeth. They can be used to support dental prosthesis including crowns, dentures, and bridges. Today’s treatments are so natural looking, no one will know you had surgery. There’s approximately a 95% success rate for all implants. With modern advances in dentistry, some implants can be restored immediately with life like all porcelain crowns. For more details ask your dentist.