Dental Implants: The Natural Alternative to Dentures
Most people don’t think of anything considered an “implant” to be a natural alternative. But when you look at how the mouth works, a dental implant is actually accepted by the jawbone, and looks and feels just like a real tooth. It’s actually the healthiest and most permanent way to replace a missing tooth or help stabilize a denture.
Dental implants cannot only improve the appearance of your smile; they can also provide stability to an ill-fitting denture. Missing teeth almost always draw attention because we don’t expect to see a gap in a row of pearly whites, and sometimes life with dentures can be a challenge. The beauty of dental implants is that they look and feel like your own teeth because the “root” portion actually fuses with the bone — just like the root of your natural teeth. However, this also makes dental implant therapy take a little longer as we have to give the bone a chance to fuse with the titanium root and this may take a few months.
There are several ways to improve your dentures by incorporating dental implants:
- Speaking Confidence: Dental implants allow you to speak without the worry that your denture might slip. There is also no mumbling or slurring caused by having something cover the roof of your mouth. Instead your dental implants combined with your denture are very similar to having your original teeth in place.
- More Pleasurable Eating: One of the big challenges with dentures is eating. Sliding dentures can make chewing difficult. Additionally, the palatal seal (the piece of material covering the roof or bottom of your mouth) actually blocks some taste sensations. With dental implants you can enjoy your favorite foods fully and worry free.
- Increased Durability: Dental implants become as much a natural part of your mouth as your original teeth and will last a lifetime with proper care.
- Greater Convenience: With dental implants you eliminate the inconvenience and embarrassment of removing your dentures. There’s also no need for denture adhesive.
There are three steps to getting dental implants. First we need to take a good look at your mouth. We need to look at the bone structure and your surrounding gum tissue to see if both are strong enough to support an implant. This means we’ll perform a 3D image with Galileos. We’ll also use this information to see where to place the implant(s).
Next we will need to prepare the bone for the dental implant. This involves carefully preparing a slot for the implant to rest in the bone. Once we have done that the implant is place and then we have to wait a couple of months for the bone to fuse to the dental implant before we can take the final step.
Once the bone has fused to the dental implant, we can attach a crown (if replacing a tooth) or a custom attachment (if helping to stabilize a denture). At this point in time, your dental implant will work just like your original teeth or will serve its role to stabilize your denture. It may feel a bit different in the beginning, but you’ll get used to it quickly.
If you would like to discuss dental implants, please book an appointment to talk with me. We can help you decide if a dental implant will work for you.
Dr. Andrew Hall DMD