Whether you lose one tooth or several, missing teeth can have a significant impact on your life. It can make eating difficult. It can also affect your self-confidence. There is something you can do about it.
Traditionally, if you are missing only one tooth or a couple of teeth, a bridge is often given. This solution equips you with prosthetic teeth that are anchored with dental cement to the real teeth around the gaps. In order for them to fit these bridges between your teeth, the anchor teeth must be ground down. These bridges are meant to be permanent, but occasionally they can loosen or even fall out.
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are a permanent solution to tooth loss. They can be used to replace one tooth or many teeth. No matter how many teeth are being replaced, implants are titanium posts that are fused into your jaw. Following tooth loss, your jawbone can deteriorate around where your teeth used to be. In order for fusion to be successful, the bone needs to be in good condition. Provided your jaw is still strong, these implants can be placed without a graft and they can slow and even stop the deterioration. The implants then act as a root to which the new teeth are attached.
This type of implant is meant for those who are missing only one or a couple of teeth. For each tooth, an implant is drilled and an abutment placed. A new tooth, which looks and acts like a real tooth, is then screwed or cemented to the abutment.
When you are missing multiple teeth, Dr. Keith or Dr. Gibbs may choose to create a partial arch of replacement teeth rather than creating several individual teeth. Multiple implants are placed to support this implant-supported fixed bridge. Depending on your doctor's evaluation, you could have only a couple of implants placed or you could have one for each individual tooth.
In the event that you need to replace your full arch, you could choose to go with fixed overdentures. These new teeth are a permanent solution. Four or more implants are placed, which then support a full arch of teeth that are screwed on, removable only by your prosthodontist. They will only come off for maintenance.
Another full arch replacement solution is removable overdentures. Similar to fixed overdentures, four or more implants are placed into the jaw that are meant to support a full arch of replacement teeth. Rather than screwing on, though, the teeth snap or clip into place and can be removed by the patient for cleaning.
No matter if you are replacing one tooth or several teeth, the surgery process is relatively the same. First, you have a consultation with your prosthodontist, Dr. Keith or Dr. Gibbs. You will receive a complete exam as well as x-rays and a CT scan. On the day of your surgery, any necessary extractions will be performed and holes drilled. Your implants will be placed and you will receive a temporary prosthetic for your healing time. Once you have healed, you will be fitted for and receive your permanent replacement.
The All-on-4 treatment was developed by Nobel Biocare and is one of the newest revolutions used in implant dentistry. With this new concept, four implants are used to place a permanent prosthetic quickly and efficiently. This saves our patients time and money while improving the mouth’s natural appearance and aiding normal jaw function all in a single day.
This concept is unique because implants are placed at an angle rather than in a fixed vertical position. This allows our dentists to use fewer implants. In fact, we only need to work with four to complete the process. Because we can use fewer implants, we need less bone material, making this a good treatment option for many patients who were not a good denture candidate prior to this.
This is a highly effective treatment option. Our team can get the implants in quickly, allowing our patients to have the natural-looking smile they want, without having to come back multiple times to complete the work.
There are several benefits for using the All-on-4 Treatment Concept. Our dentists offer this option because the entire process, from tooth extraction to installing the implants and adjusting the prosthetic, can all be done within a few hours. Bone augmentation is not necessary, and it provides a more cost-effective treatment option for many of our patients.
This treatment option is a permanent solution with a lifetime guarantee for all patients. It is an excellent option with outstanding results. The All-on-4 treatment can help return the patient’s facial appearance as well as normal chewing function which may have been lost over time. Along with this increased functionality, the All-on-4 treatment can create added support for the cheeks and lips at the same time.
There is no one reason that we might decide a tooth needs to be removed. A removal that many people are familiar with and even experience first-hand is the extraction of the wisdom teeth, which often erupt (or grow in) in such a way that it can cause crowding and discomfort. Other times we might remove teeth to allow dentures to form a tight seal with the gums. This is always an option of last resort, and we always consider more mild options like crowns, dental bridges, or bonding first. If we determine that those options are not sufficient to restore the health of the tooth, then an extraction can be the best choice for your health. On rare occasions we might remove a tooth that is healthy because it is causing problems with other teeth.
What to Expect During a Tooth Removal
There are two different types of tooth removals, simple and surgical. We perform simple removals on teeth that we can easily see because they are not being crowded by neighboring teeth and they clear the gum line. Surgical removals are reserved for teeth that are only semi-visible, or that we cannot see at all and can only detect with dental x-rays.
Whether simple or surgical, both operations are short, approximately an hour to remove one tooth. Local anesthesia is used to make sure you are never in any discomfort, though you will likely feel some pressure.
Another solution is dental implants. Learn more about the benefits of dental implants:
When you lose teeth, your daily life can be affected. For the best result to return to your normal routine, as well as prosthetics that look and act like real teeth, consider dental implants. Call us at (925) 266-3550 to learn more.