Tooth loss affects nearly everyone at some point in their life, and it usually starts early. According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, the average person is missing more than one tooth by age 34. By age 50, the number of teeth missing rises to 3, and by age 65, more than 10 percent of people have no remaining teeth at all.
Tooth loss – whether partial or total – can present functional, cosmetic, and physical consequences. For many, it is a source of embarrassment and frustration. People who are missing one or more teeth may find difficulty eating their favorite foods, speaking articulately, or simply smiling for a camera. Not to mention, tooth loss can lead to bone deterioration in the jaw and cause any remaining teeth in the mouth to shift.
Tooth Replacement Solutions
Today’s dental patients have access to more tooth replacement options than ever before. Deciding which one is right for you is a decision to be made between you and your dentist. Some options include:
Dentures can be made for people who are missing some (partial dentures) or all of their teeth (complete dentures). These prosthetics are fully removable, and must be taken out at night. Unfortunately, they are also prone to slippage during wear, since the bone beneath the gums tends to deteriorate and lose shape after tooth loss. Eventually, dentures may lose their fit or break, requiring repairs or replacement. Furthermore, denture-wearers tend to be limited by what they can eat and may be prone to sores from pressure points between the denture and the gums.
Fixed bridges are an option for people who are only missing one or a few teeth in a successive gap between two other teeth. These two remaining teeth serve as anchors for the bridge, which is cemented in place. Although there is no slippage, fixed bridges still have their limitations. They do not prevent deterioration of bone, and they may be more difficult to clean than other replacement options.
Implants are the modern day preference for effective and natural-looking tooth replacement. Though it requires a surgical procedure, implants are as strong as a natural tooth and are meant to last a lifetime. They are maintained just like regular teeth, and wearers are not typically limited in what they can eat.
Why Choose Implants Over Other Tooth Replacement Options?
At Bosler Implant and Cosmetic Dentistry, we recommend implants for patients missing teeth whenever possible. Although not right for everyone, those who do qualify for implants tend to enjoy long-lasting benefits with little or no maintenance outside of regular oral hygiene and dental visits. They also enjoy greater quality of life, continuing to enjoy all of the same foods they always have with little or no limitations. Imagine spending your entire life with a beautiful, natural-looking smile most people only dream of.
What to Expect
Patients who choose implants will need to visit Dr. Bosler for an in-person consultation to assess jaw bone density. If there is sufficient bone to support an implant, patients will move on to the treatment planning phase. Those who do not have sufficient bone may be candidates for a grafting procedure to help rebuild the bone to support a future implant.
Implants are placed from the comfort of our office. The surgery requires placement of a titanium post directly into the bone beneath the gums. The bone will osseo-integrate with the implant, much like it would a natural tooth root. After several months, patients return to be fitted for a tooth surface prosthetic – often a crown. If the patient is having multiple teeth replaced, crowns can be placed on individual implants, or the implants can be used to anchor a different type of prosthetic, such as a bridge or implant-supported denture.
For more information about tooth replacement, contact our office to schedule a direct consultation. We will help you sort through your options and choose a tooth-replacement solution that is right for you.