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A missing tooth often leads to functional and structural issues with the teeth in addition to the obvious cosmetic impact to the smile as a whole. While traditional bridges or dentures can effectively replace a missing or damaged tooth or several missing teeth, they may not always be the best option. With dental implants, Dr. Martin N. Gorman—our experienced bioesthetic dentist—is able to offer our patients a durable and beautiful restorative solution.
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are designed to replace a single missing tooth. They are composed of a titanium post that acts as the new tooth’s root as well as a custom-made porcelain crown that completes the tooth for a natural appearance. The titanium root is placed in the gum tissue and secures the new tooth in place for a secure, comfortable fit. Over time, this post fuses to the jawbone and gives the new restoration unparalleled stability. Dental implants look and function just like natural teeth.
What Are the Benefits of Dental Implants?
Traditional dentures and bridges are typically less durable and comfortable compared to dental implants. Dental implants can offer a variety of unique advantages, including:
- No required pastes or adhesives
- No “slippage” along the gums
- Improved comfort and stability
- Ability to brush and floss with ease
- Strong, long-lasting tooth replacement
- Beautiful, natural-looking results
Patients who choose dental implants usually report significant improvement in their ability to chew and speak. Oftentimes, they also experience a boost in confidence and may smile more often. In addition, since the new teeth are held in place by the implant posts, there are no eating restrictions.
Am I a Good Candidate for Dental Implants?
Any patient with one or more missing teeth and adequate jawbone density may be a good candidate for dental implants. Ideal candidates will have sufficient jawbone density to support the titanium post or posts that will be inserted into the gum tissue. Some patients with lower jawbone density may opt for implant supported dentures with mini dental implants as an alternative option that can still provide many of the same benefits as single tooth implants.
What Are Mini Dental Implants?
Mini dental implants are more narrow than standard dental implants and require less jawbone density. Similar to a standard dental implant, a mini dental implant uses a titanium post to mimic the function of the tooth’s root. With strategic placement of these mini dental implants, a custom denture can then be attached to the titanium posts, eliminating the need for any paste or adhesive. Mini dental implants with an anchored denture are often an ideal solution for patients who wish to replace an entire row or set of missing teeth but do not have the jawbone density necessary for a full set of single tooth implants.
What Are My Dental Implant Options?
Depending upon the unique needs and expectations of the patient, Dr. Gorman may recommend one of several different dental implant options. All of these options use the stability of dental implants to restore the form and function of the teeth with natural-looking, long-lasting results. Your dental implant options may include:
Single Tooth Implants
A single tooth implant is comprised of one titanium post and one porcelain crown. Single tooth implants are designed to replace a natural tooth and become virtually indistinguishable from the natural teeth. If there is sufficient jawbone density to support multiple single tooth implants, this option can be used to replace one or several missing teeth.
An implant bridge uses one or more dental implants to secure the custom-made dental restoration in place, eliminating the need for pastes or adhesives. Implant bridges are designed to replace several adjacent missing teeth, and may be an ideal solution for patients with lower jawbone density.
Implant Supported Dentures
When an entire arch of teeth needs to be replaced, an implant supported denture may be a good option, particularly for patients who are not good candidates for a full set of single tooth implants. Also known as anchored dentures, this missing tooth solution can also be used to replace both arches of teeth for a full mouth restoration. In cases when the patient has particularly low jawbone density, an implant supported denture anchored with mini dental implants may be the most beneficial option. Some patients may choose implant supported dentures as a more cost-effective option for replacing traditional dentures, as opposed to a full set of single tooth implants.
The Dental Implant Procedure
During your initial consultation, Dr. Gorman will perform an oral exam, discuss your expectations, and determine your candidacy for dental implants or mini dental implants. The titanium posts will be carefully and strategically placed in the gum tissue on the day of your procedure. Over the next few months, the implants will fuse to the jawbone, creating a stable foundation for the porcelain crowns. While waiting for this fusion (known as osseointegration) to take place, a temporary restoration may be worn. You will then return to the office and be fitted with your custom-made crowns, restoring the form and function of your teeth and enhancing your smile. Patients who choose mini dental implants with an anchored denture may have the option of having the entire procedure completed in a single office visit.
How Much Do Dental Implants Cost?
For each dental implant procedure, Dr. Gorman designs a customized treatment plan to suit the patient’s unique needs. As a result, there is no set price for dental implants. There are a number of variables that can impact the total cost of dental implants, including:
- The number of required dental implants
- The location of the dental implants
- The dental implant option selected
- Whether standard or mini dental implants are used
- Laboratory costs for the custom restoration
For more information about dental implants, or to discover if you are a good candidate for one of our dental implant options, please schedule a consultation with Dr. Gorman today.