During the last 20 years, dental implants have become a desirable alternative to other methods of replacing missing teeth. Excellent success rates and a range of available options give dentists a variety of new ways to treat and replace lost teeth.
Your dentist can evaluate your case and tell you if you are a candidate for dental implants. Structurally, a dental implant is a titanium-based cylinder that replaces the missing tooth root. After a period of time, other parts are placed on the implant to enable your dentist to eventually place a crown (cap) on the implant. Implants can also be used to support full or partial dentures, dramatically improving denture retention and stability.
Most patients with adequate bone mass can have implants, although it varies among individuals. Typically an x-ray and CT-scan are performed to determine if you have enough bone to place the implant, as well as to verify the size and kind of implant that should be placed.
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Important Facts to Help Make Your Decision – Northwest Implants
Many people are unaware of the consequences of losing their teeth or the effects of wearing partial or full dentures upon their jaws and bones. When teeth are lost, the surrounding bone immediately begins to shrink [atrophy]. Implant treatment, for tooth replacement therapy, can be the optimal treatment plan. Here are some important facts to take into consideration.
- Wearing dentures [plates] accelerates bone loss, and old dentures become loose because of this bone loss. It is possible to watch and wait for bone to disappear to the point where treatment success of any kind is in doubt.
- At the end of a five-year period, only 40% are still wearing the original partial denture made for them. This is not a great testimonial for value and utility. Those lucky enough to have a functioning partial denture after 5 years are still losing valuable supporting bone.
- Of those patients who wear a partial denture, 50% chew better without it.
- One study showed that after 8 years, 40% of the supporting teeth [abutments] that the partial hooks onto were lost through tooth decay or fracture.
- Patients with natural teeth can bite with about 200 pounds of force. Denture wearers can bite with approximately 50 pounds of force. Those wearing dentures for 15 years or more can bite with only about 6 pounds of force, and their diet and eating habits have had to been modified accordingly.
- The average lower full denture shifts from side to side during chewing and is a significant problem that new denture wearers must get use to and accept.
- Denture wearers have decreased nutritional intake, a ten year shorter life span, and 30% of denture wearers can only eat soft foods.
- The single tooth implant success rate is above 98%, and unlike a bridge, the teeth adjacent to the implant are no more at risk than if no teeth were missing.
- Implant-supported bridges or dentures have 95% success rates over 10 years without the severe loss of supporting bone.
For bone maintenance, the health of adjacent teeth, the longevity of the restoration and patient comfort, implant therapy is the treatment of choice. Implants can restore chewing function to the equivalent of someone with natural teeth. If you have questions or want to know if you are a good candidate for implant tooth replacement therapy,
Bone grafting is the replacement of jaw bone loss due to injury or gum disease. Often times, if a tooth is missing, the associated bone will be reabsorbed into the body. In these cases, the corrupted quality and lack of available bone structure makes the addition of dental implants difficult.
Current technology enables us to restore lost bone when necessary. It performs the dual service of allowing us to restore functionality while, improving the overall appearance of your teeth so you can smile with confidence.
Bone cells are taken from a tissue bank or from your own body from areas, such as the jaw, hip or below your knee. In some cases a special layer is used to assist the development of the bone cells. This process is called guided bone regeneration.
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