Replacing Missing Teeth
A missing tooth can affect your bite, speech and eating choices. As you rely more on your remaining teeth, you increase the chance they will wear out prematurely, or be damaged or lost.
No one wants to lose their teeth or their jawbone to shrink. That’s the natural consequence of missing teeth – the jaw bone recedes. Generally, people will lose 25% of their supporting jawbone structure within the first year after tooth loss. Dental implants are more easily placed when the tooth is extracted, or a few months after the extraction. Bone replacement becomes more difficult as time passes. Implants act just like your natural teeth. They safeguard and preserve your bone structure, oral health and appearance. Your dentist and Dr. Kilkuts will give you treatment options so that you can make the most informed decision.
Tooth Replacement Options
Anyone who is missing one or more teeth, or that is unhappy with their denture can benefit from dental implants. Different options to replace your missing teeth range from temporary to long lasting solutions.
Age is not a factor. However, smoking, having diabetes, and radiation therapy to the area, have been shown to lower the success rate of implant placement. A panorex film of your jaw can be taken at our office to evaluate if implant treatment can be done. Occasionally, a CT scan will be ordered to further assess your implant needs.
A fixed bridge is a connected set of replacement teeth. For support, it is cemented into position on top of the teeth adjacent to the empty space. The protective outer layer of these teeth is usually removed or ground down prior to attaching the bridge.
A fragile, temporary and inexpensive solution is a removable plastic tooth with a plastic retainer, often called a “flipper”.
A less fragile option is a removable partial denture cast in metal and plastic. It is held in place by wire clips. A removable partial denture can be removed and reinserted when required by the patient.
The most common solution, for people missing all teeth in one or both jaws are complete dentures. Some people adapt well to dentures. Others find them uncomfortable, even intolerable, because of differences in jaw size and shape.
Dental implants are the most comfortable and permanent solution. They form a strong foundation for teeth and keep the jaw healthy and strong. Implants support individual replacement teeth or secure specialized dentures in place. Unlike bridges, no healthy teeth are damaged. Unlike most bridges, implants can last a lifetime. Implant-supported replacement teeth can be attractive, stable, and comfortable for almost any patient.
Dental Implants Presentation
To provide you with a better understanding of dental implants, we have provided the following multimedia presentation. Many common questions pertaining to dental implants are discussed.
What Are Dental Implants?
A natural tooth consists of a root and a crown. When you lose a tooth, you lose both the root and the crown. A dental implant replaces the root of the lost tooth. To replace the tooth, the surgeon places a titanium implant.
Time is allowed for the implant to bond to your jawbone. A support post (abutment) is placed on the implant a few weeks after the implant is placed. A new replacement tooth (crown) is placed on top of the abutment.
Using the most recent advances in dental implant technology, Dr. Kilkuts is able to place single stage implants. These implants do not require a second procedure to uncover them, but do require a minimum six to eight weeks of healing time before a final crown can be placed. There are even situations where the implant can be placed at the same time as the tooth extraction.
Dental implant placement is a team effort between Dr.Kilkuts and your dentist. Our offices will work together to make the implant process be as simple as possible.