One of the great benefits of dental implants in Belchertown is their ability to treat a wide range of dental problems, from a single missing tooth to complete tooth loss. Your implant dentist will work with you to tailor a treatment strategy to your needs. While implants can last up to a lifetime, it’s important for the patient to practice good self-care steps, including daily oral hygiene as recommended by a dental professional.
How a Single-Tooth Implant Restoration Works
A single tooth restoration uses
a small titanium fixture embedded beneath the patient’s gumline. During the initial
treatment, the dentist will expose a portion of the patient’s jaw and drill a
small hole into the bone itself, into which he or she will place the fixture. For
the patient, this is a gentle, comfortable procedure that uses anesthesia and
usually sedatives to prevent anxiety and discomfort.
During the post-surgical
period, the surrounding bones will fuse to the fixture through a natural process
called osteointegration. Once this is complete, the patient will return to the
dentist for the fitting of the abutment. This is a small titanium connector that
joins the embedded implant to the visible restoration; then the restored tooth
itself is placed. Once this step is complete, the patient can show off his or her
smile to the world.
How a Multi-Tooth Implant Restoration Works
Multi-tooth implants use an
approach that is similar to traditional dental bridgework, except that the
restoration is supported by titanium implants. The dentist embeds between two
and six fixtures in the patient’s jawbone, depending on the number of teeth
that needs restoration. 3-4 missing teeth may only require a single pair of fixtures,
while a restoration stretching across the entire arch may use as many as six.
Once osseointegration is
complete, the patient returns to the dentist for the fitting of a multi-tooth
bridge. The advantages of using bridgework include reduced cost and shorter
recuperation times for patients. Once this step is accomplished, the restoration
looks and acts just like healthy natural teeth.
Why Implants are Better than Adhesive Dentures
Adhesive dentures have helped
millions of people to enjoy a better quality of life. However, the benefits
they offer patients are limited by the fact that they are held in place by
pressure against the gums, not by any connection to the jawbone.
This means they can come
loose at any time unless the patient uses constant care and avoids certain
foods and activities. While adhesives can help to minimize this problem, they
can never correct it entirely.
Implants suffer from none of
these disadvantages. The wearer can enjoy his or her favorite activities, eat a
normal diet, and participate in an active social life, free of worry about the restoration
Implants are not the best
option for all patients. Only a qualified dental professional can prescribe the
best solution in your case. Make an appointment to see an implant dentist in
your area soon. You’ll soon have lots of reasons to smile.
About the Author
Dr. Mark D. Medaugh, known
affectionately to his patients as “Dr. M,” is a skilled dentist who specializes
in cosmetic and restorative techniques such as implant placement. He’s a member
of the American Dental Association and Massachusetts Dental Association. You
can reach his office online or by
calling (413) 323-4335.