“Everything You Need to Know About Dental Implants”
“The Complete Guide to Building a Boat,”
and “How to Fly a Plane”
Wouldn’t life be easy if you could get all the information you needed about complicated things from one blog online? While that may not be the safest or most efficient way to learn to fly an airplane or build your own boat, our experienced team here at Belle Meade Smile Center has compiled all the information you need to understand dental implants.
The reasons for needing dental implants can be complicated and overwhelming. Still, Dr. Shipp and his skilled team in Nashville, TN, want you to have all the information you need to make it less intimidating, no matter your smile needs. When you face the prospect of replacing damaged or missing teeth, uncertainty can prevent you from getting the care you need to restore the confidence that only comes from a solid smile, so let’s start with the facts.
What are Dental Implants?
Designed to replace one or more missing or irreparably damaged teeth, dental implants can restore the beauty of your smile with a result that looks and feels natural. Dental Implants are a restorative option that closely resembles your natural tooth in aesthetics and functionality, making them a popular choice, especially among younger patients. This process utilizes a false tooth similar to a crown, but as opposed to it being mounted on top of your gums and supported by existing teeth, it uses a metal anchor that is fused deep under your gums to your jaw with a screw post to attach the false tooth. The titanium post acts as tooth roots and stimulates bone growth, increasing the implant’s stability over time. Talk about an investment!
The dental implant process is more time-consuming than other options like a crown or a bridge because it requires multiple steps needing time for bone healing and custom tooth crafting. While this is the more costly restorative dental option, it is also the most permanent and does not require your doctor to remove parts of nearby teeth, so all of your healthy teeth stay intact.
Benefits of Dental Implants
Your facial bone structure is vital for many reasons. The teeth, jaws, and other facial bones support the skin and muscles responsible for our outward appearance, expressions, and even functionality, such as eating and breathing. Dental implants can improve your overall health by restoring your ability to chew foods efficiently while opening your food options. Placing dental implants in the space between teeth will also prevent shifting of the surrounding teeth, leading to further bone loss. Another significant benefit of dental implants is longevity- many patients find their implants last decades through good oral hygiene habits, just as your natural teeth do, except implants do not get cavities.
Alternatives to Dental Implants
Some patients may not be great candidates for full dental implant procedures or simply want to explore other options that may be ideal for their needs. Fortunately, some alternatives to full sets of dental implants can also provide adequate replacements. Traditional dental bridges can often be a good option for patients needing to replace multiple missing teeth located next to one another. At the same time, implant-supported dentures work well for patients missing numerous teeth but cannot replace each one with an implant.
We will be happy to answer any questions, discuss the range of treatments available, and help you determine the best replacement procedure for your needs and goals.
Types of Dental Implants
Dental implants can be utilized for a diverse range of concerns. From a single missing tooth to a complete set of missing teeth, there are various dental implant options designed to address many issues with treatment that is tailored to each patient’s unique needs and goals.
Single Tooth Implants
Whether you have lost a tooth due to an injury or other factors like an extraction after dental decay, a single dental implant can often be used to fill the space with results that enhance both function and appearance. Even just one missing tooth can dramatically affect chewing and speaking and lead to bone loss, which can negatively impact oral health. A single tooth implant can address these concerns with results that last decades with proper care.
A traditional dental bridge utilizes artificial teeth along with dental crowns on surrounding teeth for support. Implant bridges use a similar system; however, instead of relying on surrounding natural teeth for support, this option uses dental implants on each side with crowns in between. Implant bridges are a practical option for patients who don’t have adequate jawbone density in the area of missing teeth but have enough density in the surrounding areas. It is also particularly beneficial for patients who tend to clench and grind their teeth during the night.
Implant-supported dentures can often serve as a good alternative for patients who are not candidates for full dental implant replacement on each missing tooth, as well as for those who simply wish to avoid replacement with a full set of dental implants. This option can replace multiple or complete sets of missing teeth on either the upper or the lower dental arches, often both simultaneously. Your dental surgeon will strategically place a select number of dental implants in the areas of missing teeth. Then, a customized denture appliance will be affixed to the implants. These implants provide the denture with a stable foundation of strength and support, reducing the need for denture pastes and adhesives. Implant-supported dentures allow patients to attain effective replacement that feels more like natural teeth, eliminating many of the drawbacks associated with traditional dentures.
What is the Dental Implant Process?
During your initial consultation, Dr. Shipp will perform a comprehensive oral evaluation to ensure this is the proper procedure for your needs. Once you’ve been determined to be a good candidate, he will create a customized treatment plan for you that will lead to the most comfortable, natural-looking results.
During the first stage of the process, your dentist will surgically implant a special titanium post in just the right position to act as your eventual replacement tooth’s roots. Over the next three to six months, this titanium post should fuse to the jawbone, giving the new tooth superior stability and essential functioning like a natural tooth root. Once the titanium post has fully connected to the jawbone, the custom crown can be attached by your dentist, and the dental implant procedure is complete.
How much do dental implants cost?
While the cost of dental implants can vary widely depending on a number of factors unique to each patient, at Belle Meade Smile Center, we want to help all of our patients achieve a healthy, beautiful smile! In an effort to make your new smile attainable, we accept an array of payment methods and work with respected financing companies that can provide great rates and budget-conscious monthly payment options.
Stress-free smile restoration is possible with Belle Meade Smile Center!
Undergoing dental procedures can be a nerve-wracking process for many. Dr. Shipp and his compassionate team at Belle Meade Smile Center want to make the process as stress-free and pleasant as possible, from your initial consultation to your final smile appointment. Our team is sensitive to the hardships missing teeth can create. We provide dental implants so that our patients can regain their self-confidence, improve their health, and approach life with a smile on their faces! To get your custom restorative dental implant treatment plan from our skilled team, schedule your initial consultation today!