Did you know that an estimated 178 million Americans are missing at least one tooth? It’s not surprising, given that there are so many reasons for tooth loss: gum disease, genetics, accidents and poor oral hygiene are just some of them! Unfortunately, there aren’t nearly as many solutions for tooth loss as there are causes, and for many years the only options were bridges or dentures. Thankfully, patients today have a superior choice: dental implants in Bella Vista. Find out why implants are such a great solution (even for denture wearers) and learn what the procedure is like in this blog!
Why Are Implants the Ideal Solution For Missing Teeth?
Implants do one thing that other options don’t: They replace the roots of missing teeth. There are a couple of reasons that this is important: First, it tricks your body into thinking that a tooth is still present, so your jawbone won’t shrink over time.
Second, a root is what gives a tooth its chewing power, which is why implants provide patients with unmatched stability, strength and longevity.
Even patients who have lost all their teeth can benefit from implants by having an implant-retained denture made. Usually just 2-4 implants per arch are all that’s needed to provide greatly enhanced stability that you can’t get from a traditional denture alone.
What Advantages Do Implants Offer?
Here are some of the advantages you can expect from dental implants over other options:
- – They look, feel and function more like your ownteeth.
- – You’ll have dramatically better chewing strengthso you can still eat your favorite foods.
- – Implants last decades with basic care andmaintenance, much longer than dentures or bridges.
- – You won’t have to worry about embarrassing slipsduring conversations like you might with dentures.
- – Implants don’t negatively impact the adjacentteeth like bridges do.
- – You won’t lose bone mass in your jaw over time,so your facial structure and appearance won’t change the way it can withdentures.
What Is the Procedure Like?
Implants require a small, in-office surgery that usually takes around two hours. Most patients report that it’s much easier than they expected. Here are the basic steps involved:
- – First, you’ll be numbed so that you’re completely comfortable.
- – Then the implant will be placed in the jaw, which will cause some mild discomfort in the area for about a week. In most cases, over-the-counter pain medication is all that’s necessary to manage it.
- – Then it will take 3-6 months for the implant to integrate, or fuse, with your existing jawbone. You won’t have any discomfort during this time and can eat and function normally.
- – Finally, a crown, bridge or denture will be made that matches the rest of your smile.
Implants are a fantastic replacement option that have changed the field of dentistry. In fact, they feel so great that you may forget you ever lost any teeth to begin with!
About the Author
With over two decades of experience as a dentist in Bella Vista, Dr. Chris Combs knows that implants are the next best thing to natural teeth and has used them to restore the smiles and self-confidence of countless patients after tooth loss. If you have additional questions about which replacement option is best for you, he can be reached via his website or at (479) 855-6764.