If You Are In Need Of Dental Implants, Look No Further Than Gentle Dental In Edison, NJ!
If you’re missing a tooth, you’re not alone. The American Dental Association reports that over 178 million Americans are missing at least one tooth. This can be due to gum disease, excessive decay, or something like a sports accident. But failure to replace that missing tooth or teeth can lead to far more problems than a gap in your smile. This is where dental implants come in.
At Gentle Dental Care, serving Edison, Metuchen & South Plainfield, NJ, we recommend replacing missing teeth with dental implants. It is by far the most effective replacement option, with the implanted tooth providing long-lasting function exactly like that of a normal tooth.
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are prosthetic replacements for missing or severely damaged teeth. This treatment option delivers an unprecedented level of patient satisfaction while providing a natural-looking appearance and long-lasting function. Implants are the gold standard for smile makeovers and dental restoration. If you have lost one or more teeth to fractures, gum disease, or tooth decay, dental implants could bring back your beautiful smile. At Gentle Dental Care, our dentists provide both surgical placement as well as the restoration of dental implants.
Why Do I Need To Replace A Missing Tooth With A Tooth Implant?
Missing teeth are more than an embarrassment in the form of a gap in your smile. Here are the problems created when a missing tooth is not replaced with a tooth implant:
- The teeth adjacent to the missing tooth tend to slide over to fill the space. This is because there is no longer any pressure on the adjacent teeth to stay in place. This movement can change your bite and overall dental health.
- Biting and chewing create enormous force. This force is sent downward through the teeth into the jawbone below. It is this energy that signals the jawbone to keep regenerating new bone mass, keeping it healthy. When a tooth is missing and not replaced with a tooth implant, the jawbone beneath it doesn’t receive this energy and begins to deteriorate. Over time this deterioration can create a sunken appearance in the lower face.
- A missing tooth can make a person embarrassed about his or her smile, particularly if a front tooth is missing.
- A missing molar can inhibit chewing, keeping the person from eating certain types of foods.
- Missing teeth can create a whistling sound when a person speaks.
Dental Implant Benefits
There are many benefits to opting for dental implants over other cosmetic dental procedures. First, dental implants can be used to fully restore teeth that are too badly damaged or decayed for repair with an amalgam filling, a porcelain inlay/onlay, or a crown. A tooth implant also restores normal chewing and biting ability. Most patients can resume a normal, healthy diet that includes a wide variety of foods after treatment is complete.
Replacing a missing tooth with a tooth implant helps prevent other teeth from shifting out of alignment over time. Keeping teeth straight and even promotes better oral care. It makes proper brushing and flossing easier, which reduces the risk of cavities and gum disease. Since the prosthetic tooth implant is load-bearing (you can bite and chew with it), an implant may also help limit further jaw bone loss in the treated area.
The Difference Between Dental Implants And Traditional Bridges
Dental implants offer a conservative solution compared to a traditional bridge. Only the tooth that is being replaced is affected. The teeth on either side of the missing tooth are not ground down and capped. Patients can opt to have one or several teeth replaced with dental implants. Dental implants can also support dentures, which tend to be more stable and comfortable than those held in place with adhesive.
How Is A Dental Implant Procedure Performed?
Dental implants rely on osseointegration to create a stable connection between a titanium implant and the jawbone. During osseointegration, the bone grows into direct contact with the tooth implant, holding it firmly in place. At Gentle Dental, we begin the tooth implant process with your consultation. This includes a full oral exam, x-rays, and a CT scan. From this information, we can decide if your jawbone mass and density are right for dental implants. We use this information to also decide on the size and shape of the implant.
From there, the implant process involves four steps:
1. Placement — The implant gets its name from the actual portion anchored into the jawbone. This “implant” is made of titanium and is screw-shaped. Once we expose the jawbone, we sometimes will drill a tiny hole to make room for the implant. Then the implant is screwed down into the socket that held the former tooth root.
2. Osseointegration — Now the implant has to become a part of the jawbone. This process where the bone grows around the implant is called osseointegration, and it takes from three to six months.
3. Abutment — Once the implant is firmly in the jaw, we attach a post, called an abutment, to it. Once placed, we allow the gums to heal for six additional weeks.
4. Crown — When the gums are ready, we attach the false tooth, called a crown, to the abutment. The tooth is made of porcelain and matches the shape and color of the surrounding natural teeth. No further recovery is necessary, and you’re good to go and enjoy your new tooth.
What Our Patients Have To Say
“I feel it is a very pleasant experience coming to the office. I do not feel a thing when I have work done. Everyone is friendly and happy, especially Maggie. I am looking forward to getting my mouth into the best shape possible!” – Erika L. 10-29-05
How Long Do Dental Implants Last?
Long-term success rates with implants range from 90-95%. Many patients enjoy their dental implants for life with no need for replacement or repair.
How Much Do Dental Implants Cost?
Dental implants generally have a higher up-front cost than traditional crowns and bridges. The restoration process also takes much longer.
That being said, the investment in time and money can more than pay for itself with a reduction in dental interventions over your lifetime. Just be sure to practice excellent dental hygiene so you don’t lose more teeth!
For an estimate on how much your dental implants may cost, contact Gentle Dental Care today.
Dental Implants FAQs
Once placed, a dental implant behaves just like a normal tooth, enabling the person to eat whatever they want again. This isn’t possible with a bridge, which requires the person to avoid certain foods that can damage the bridge. Also, when placing a bridge, the teeth on both sides of the gap need to be crowned to anchor the bridge. In preparation, those healthy teeth need to be ground down to accommodate the crowns. Dental implants do not affect the adjacent teeth at all. Implants also have a much longer lifespan than any bridge.
This procedure is designed for patients who need smile reconstruction. Adults and older children who have permanent teeth can be treated with implants. There is no upper age limit for this treatment. The most important factor in success rates for dental implants is bone density. Patients who have very advanced periodontitis (gum disease) may not have enough bone left to hold an implant. They may need one or more bone grafting procedures before they can get dental implants. Smokers have more complications during healing than non-smokers, so if you smoke, you need to stop before you undergo this dental treatment. The one key to candidacy for an implant is the mass of the patient’s jawbone. If there is sufficient mass, then an implant is appropriate for almost any person of any age. However, if the tooth or teeth have been missing for a length of time, there may have been jawbone resorption and deterioration. In these cases, the jawbone may need to be built up with bone grafts to create enough mass to hold the tooth implant. Plus, any other dental issues such as gum disease need to be addressed before the implant process can proceed.
People missing many teeth may not opt to have all the teeth replaced with dental implants. In these cases, implants are still effective as anchors for partial or even full dentures. Strategically placed implants give dentures much more stability, enabling the wearer to eat different foods with much more confidence and comfort.
Caring for a tooth implant is no different than caring for your natural teeth. Daily brushing and flossing are all that’s required.
Schedule A Consultation Today!
If you have any questions about getting dental implants please feel free to give us a call at 732.549.5660 or schedule a consultation appointment. We hope to be your practice of choice when looking for dental implants in Edison, Piscataway Township, New Brunswick, Metuchen, or Woodbridge Township, NJ!