La Jolla, CA
Missing teeth cause more problems than just an uneven smile. When you lose an adult tooth, the surrounding teeth are suddenly missing important support and structure. Your remaining teeth will begin to shift over time to close the gap caused by the missing tooth, and often become crooked or leave gaps between them. This can cause your teeth to become unstable, and therefore weaker. Not to mention, when the root of your tooth is gone, the bone where the tooth once was can begin to deteriorate.
While dentures were once the only solution to missing teeth, and only a partial solution at that, modern dentistry has given us a more effective and permanent solution in recent years. With the use of dental implants, your oral health can be fully restored and your remaining natural teeth can keep or even regain their strength with the support of a permanent false tooth.
What are Dental Implants?When you lose a tooth entirely, you are missing both the tooth itself and the tooth root that supports it. Dentures and bridges correct only half of this problem, by replacing the missing tooth with a false one, but doing nothing about the root. Implants provide a fully realized solution with the use of a titanium shaft implanted into the bone to serve as a new tooth root. A new porcelain tooth is attached to the implant, and there it stays for many years as you continue to use it as if it were a natural tooth.
Implants Vs. BridgesWhile bridges certainly still have their place in dentistry today, many patients find that the higher cost of an implant is worth the associated added benefits. Bridges are created by capping the teeth on either side of a missing tooth, then building a false tooth between the crowns, thereby bridging the gap. Dental implants offer substantial benefits over bridges by:
|•||Reducing the pressure on surrounding teeth. As bridges rely on the teeth to either side for support, they can cause unnecessary stress to those teeth. With implants, your replacement tooth will rely solely on the implant for support.|
|•||Stopping and even reversing bone loss. With the implant serving as a new tooth root, your jawbone will begin to grow back around the implant and maintain the integrity of your facial bone structure.|
|•||Making the replacement of worn, discolored, or cracked porcelain teeth simple. When your replacement tooth needs to be replaced again, your La Jolla dentist can easily remove the old tooth and craft a new tooth to put back onto the same implant.|
Alternatively, implants can sometimes be used to strengthen bridgework, especially where there are several teeth missing in a row. Implant bridges are becoming more widely used in place of partial dentures, both for their durability and their improved ease of use.
Implants Vs. DenturesWhere dentures and partial dentures fall short, implants and implant bridges provide a more practical option for patients. A few of the many shortcomings of dentures that implants improve upon include:
If implants sound right for you, but you just can't afford them, we also offer mini dental implants that can be used to keep your dentures or partial dentures stabilized. They are usually about half the cost of regular dental implants.
|•||Durability. Dentures only last about five to seven years before they have to be replaced. Implants, on the other hand, last forever, and the teeth built on top of them are quick and simple to replace.|
|•||Comfort. If you are currently wearing dentures, you know how uncomfortable they can be, especially after a few years of use. As the underlying bone continues to deteriorate without the roots of teeth to keep it stable, the structure of your mouth changes and your once well-fitted dentures no longer fit. Implants keep the structure of your bone intact and feel just like normal teeth.|
|•||Care. Dentures require a lot of extra care. In addition to brushing and flossing any remaining teeth you may have, you have to brush your dentures, remove them to sleep, soak them in special solutions to keep them white and clean, and so on. With implants, your new teeth can be brushed and flossed like your natural teeth, and no extra care is needed.|
|•||Ease of use. As much as you may love the occasional piece of saltwater taffy, you will never be able to enjoy it if you opt for dentures. Dental implants allow you to eat anything you want, from chewing gum to steak. Never again will you have to subsist on eggs and fish because of your replacement teeth.|
Give us a call today for a free consultation to find out if dental implants can give you the freedom and beautiful smile that you deserve.