Strong, healthy teeth are essential for maintaining good digestion. Those teeth in your mouth, along with your saliva, are the first step in breaking down food to prepare it for the processing that occurs in your stomach and intestines. When someone has missing teeth, it not only affects their confidence in smiling, it can also negatively impact that important initial breakdown of food in the mouth. If you’ve got a missing tooth or teeth, our office at Lifetime Family Dental offers dental implants in Gilbert, AZ.
Options for Replacing a Tooth
Though many people use dental bridges and are satisfied with them, there are certain advantages to implants. Dental implants are a long-term solution to replacing a missing tooth or teeth. Unlike a dental bridge, which requires permanently removing the tooth enamel from the teeth located around the gap and placing crowns on those teeth, a dental implant fills the space without affecting any other teeth. A bridge also needs to be cemented into place, whereas a dental implant is fixed into place by insertion of a titanium post. And a bridge won’t usually last more than about 10 years, but once a dental implant is in place, it should last a lifetime.
How Does a Dental Implant Work?
Here is a general breakdown of the process involved in a dental implant:
- —First step: insertion of a titanium post into the jawbone to act as a “root” for the artificial replacement tooth. This procedure may require eating soft foods for a short period of time until sufficient healing has occurred.
- —Gradually, the bone of your jaw grows around the newly inserted post and forms a strong bond that holds it in place. This is called osseointegration, and the process can take several months. During that time, a temporary tooth can fill the gap while healing is taking place.
- —Abutment – A small metal post is attached to the implant and your gum is allowed to heal again. (This recovery period is much shorter.)
- —When the gum is healed, a custom-made dental crown is created to replace the missing tooth. That crown matches the size, shape, and color of your teeth and is attached to the abutment.
A dental implant is often more comfortable than a dental bridge. And as we mentioned, it is much more enduring, usually for a lifetime of use. Having a missing tooth can weaken the bone structure of a jaw and cause deterioration. But with the growth of bone around the dental implant’s titanium post, your jawbone will stay healthy and strong. And all without impacting any of the surrounding teeth. Brushing and flossing with a dental implant are also easier than with a dental bridge, reducing your chance of infection and decay. And finally, replacing the missing tooth with an implant helps to keep the other adjacent teeth from shifting over time and moving out of alignment.
Dental Implants in Gilbert, AZ
Dental implants are a great solution for healthy individuals who need to have a missing tooth replaced. Bridges are another viable option to replace a missing tooth, but implants are a more permanent solution. And though they are usually more expensive and require more time investment from start to finish, implants are well worth the effort. At Lifetime Family Dental, we offer dental implants in Gilbert, AZ. If you would like to know more, please talk to our dentistry staff.