Losing a tooth may not seem like a big deal, especially if it’s a back tooth, but even one missing tooth can negatively impact your whole smile. Surrounding teeth shift to fill in the gap, supportive bone and gum tissue begin to break down, and the uneven bite puts pressure on teeth increasing the risk for dental damage. Traditionally, tooth replacement options only repaired those parts of lost teeth visible above the gum line. Dental implant supported tooth replacement repairs both the root and crown of the lost tooth making it a more natural solution. At Brookwood Dental Associates, our periodontist will surgically place one or more dental implant posts to replace the lost root system of teeth. Then, we’ll custom craft a dental crown, bridge, or denture to attach to implants fully replacing missing teeth. If you want to find out whether or not dental implants are right for you, contact our team today to schedule a dental implant consultation.
The benefits of dental implant tooth replacement are numerous. Some of the reasons implant supported restorations have become the gold standard in tooth replacement include:
The first step in the dental implant process is the surgical placement of the dental implant posts below the gum line. We’ll make a small incision in the gums and position the implant post to provide ideal support for the replacement tooth or teeth. Once the implant posts are in place, a protective cap is placed over them. This promotes healing and allows the gums to reshape and accommodate the restoration. Over the course of three to six months, a process known as osseointegration occurs. This is what makes dental implants so successful. Osseointegration is the fusing of the implant post to the supportive alveolar bone and gum tissue. This mimics the natural function of tooth roots, and provides optimal support and stability for replacement teeth. After osseointegration has occurred, the patient returns to our dental office, and we attach their prosthetic tooth or teeth to the implant post. This may seem like a significant time commitment, but in most cases, dental implant supported tooth replacements can last decades with proper care. Other restorations need to be replaced or refitted every five to ten years. In the long run, dental implants are typically the best solution.
The number of dental implants and the type of replacement tooth or teeth that you need will depend on how many teeth are lost. In most cases, we’ll recommend the following:
Following the loss of a single tooth, one dental implant will be placed. Then, a custom dental crown will be crafted to complete the restoration.
To replace two or more consecutive teeth, an implant-retained fixed bridge may be recommended. These prosthetics consist of a row of replacement teeth fused together. Then, two implant posts are placed to anchor either end of the restoration. Partial dentures can also be used to replace consecutive and nonconsecutive teeth. A partial denture is made up of a gum colored base that is molded to fit between remaining teeth and support replacement teeth. A partial denture can usually be supported by two to four dental implants.
To replace a full row of missing teeth, an implant supported denture will be recommended. Typically, just four to six dental implants can be used to support the full denture.
The cost of your dental implant supported tooth replacement plan will vary dramatically from case to case. Some of the variables that impact the costs of your dental implant tooth replacement plan include:
During your tooth replacement consultation, we’ll walk through each step of the implant-retained restoration process, including the costs, in order to help you budget for this procedure. While dental insurance policies don’t usually cover dental implants or their placement, we can make the most of the benefits available for other parts of the implant tooth replacement plan.