Gaps left by missing teeth can make you feel self-conscious about your smile, and cause difficulty chewing. Plates and bridges may offer a solution for some, but they require additional care when cleaning and can be problematic if the fit is no longer exactly right. If this sounds familiar, then dental implants could offer just the solution, at a price that may be less than you’d imagine.
Finding A Practical Solution For Missing Teeth
Losing teeth affects both the look and feel of your mouth – aside from the aesthetic impact, gaps put extra pressure on the surrounding teeth when chewing and can lead to other teeth shifting or loosening.
Historically the solution was removable bridges or dentures, but this approach can have a number of disadvantages:
- Rigid plates can be uncomfortable
- Bridges require teeth on either side of the gap to attach to
- Over time, natural changes in the gums and jaw due to ageing result in a poorer fit
- Without strict hygiene routines, food can become trapped by the plate, causing gum inflammation, or worse
- Sore spots in the mouth may make dentures or bridges impossible to tolerate
- Poorly ridged gums may not support traditional plates
- Some patients find their gag reflex is triggered by wearing dentures
What can be done to improve the look and feel of my teeth?
Implants provide a discreet and natural-looking solution to missing teeth, without any of the disadvantages of traditional bridges and dentures. Individual replacement teeth (crowns), or plates of multiple teeth (bridges or dentures) are attached to your gums using small metal posts or frames – not only are they crafted to look exactly like your other teeth, but they won’t slip or shift. So no more discomfort or embarrassment when eating or speaking.
With implants in place, your mouth will look and feel completely normal and natural.
How Do Implants Work?
Your dentist will surgically position small metal posts or frames in your jawbone to hold the crown or bridge. Two different types of implants are available, and your dentist will discuss which one will deliver the best results for you:
- Endosteal implants are implanted directly into the jawbone. Once the surrounding gum tissue has healed, a second procedure connects a post to the original implant before attaching an artificial tooth/teeth to it.
- Subperiosteal implants consist of a metal frame fitted onto the jawbone just below the gum tissue. As the gums heal, the frame becomes fixed to the jaw and small posts then protrude through the gums, to which artificial teeth are attached.
Fitting implants requires time and patience, although the results are well worth the wait! For best results in the long term, crowns and bridges may only be attached to the posts once these have fully healed and fused into your jaw. Implants are most successful in patients with healthy gums and bones – those with poor oral hygiene, smokers and diabetics may experience a higher rate of gum disease that may adversely affect the implant over time. As with all aspects of oral health, your dentist can advise on treatment plans that are appropriate to your unique circumstances, medical history and lifestyle.
Talk to one of our dentists today to find out whether implants could give you the healthy smile you deserve.