If you have gaps between your teeth, we encourage you to learn more about implant dentistry. When a gap goes unfilled, the jawbone will begin to lose mass, causing the remaining teeth to shift and tilt. The gums start to disintegrate and overall oral health becomes very poor. Soon, gum disease and tooth decay begin to form. There are several treatments for gaps, but dental implants actually restore bone loss and look and function like natural teeth.
Implant dentistry involves a long-term solution to tooth loss. The implant is a titanium screw that is implanted into your jawbone just like a natural tooth. After a few weeks or months, your bone grows around the screw, holding it firmly in place. This improves the integrity of your jaw. A crown that matches your other teeth is fixed to the top of the screw, and you have a strong, natural-looking tooth.
Another type of dental implant is placed under your gum, on or above the jawbone. This type is usually used for patients who have a thin jawbone and cannot or do not want to undergo the procedure to rebuild it.
There are different heights and sizes of dental implants. During an initial consultation, our expert in implant dentistry will help you determine which type is the best for the teeth or tooth that you need to replace.
Implants may also be used to anchor dentures or bridges. A bridge supported by implants uses an implant root for each missing tooth. When the bone secures the root, the crowns are connected to each other in one piece. This is better than a fixed bridge because healthy teeth are not damaged, as they are when a fixed bridge is placed. The damage occurs because the teeth on either side of the gap need to be prepared so the bridge can be fixed on the two teeth.
Traditional dentures simply sit on your gums and do not give underlying support. They may support your facial muscles and restore your smile, but they do not stop bone loss. This puts you at risk for developing periodontal disease, and you will most likely need to have your dentures regularly resized. Some disadvantages of dentures are shifting in the mouth, gum irritation, impaired chewing and talking, clicking noises and reduced taste in food.
Dentures that are supported by implants give you the same jawbone regeneration as single-tooth implants. This greatly reduces the risk of developing periodontal disease and bone loss. They also hold your dentures in place so they never shift or click. This makes eating and talking more comfortable.
We invite you to set up a time to visit Implant Dentistry of Virginia to have a consultation with our expert and an examination of your dental issues. During this meeting at our office in Virginia Beach, you may learn if dental implants are your best option. They provide a strong, safe and almost permanent solution for missing teeth while maintaining the integrity of your gums and jawbone. Contact us today to schedule an appointment to learn more!