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So Why Dental Implants?

Dental implants are about quality of life. This wonderful technology can restore health and function to patients who have severe dental disability, but it can also be applied to single tooth replacement situations. Dental implants are a more conservative option than conventional fixed bridges, which require the reduction of natural teeth to hold false replacement teeth. Scroll through this chapter to see various applications.

Single Tooth Replacement

People often lose teeth due to traumatic injury, failed root canals or tooth decay (dental caries). Today’s paradigm of replacement therapy calls for implant retained restorations as the most conservative and longest lasting method of tooth replacement. The dental implant is anchored directly in the jaw deriving support from the bone. By stimulating the bone through functional force, the implant contributes to survival of the bone, preventing atrophy that is often due to loss of function. Implants also spare natural teeth from injury that’s typical in the fabrication of conventional fixed bridgework.

Multiple Tooth Replacement

Patients who are missing several teeth historically had three choices: live without teeth; have a fixed or permanent bridge; wear a removable partial denture. A permanent bridge is somewhat a misnomer. Permanent means fixed, but it implies the bridge should last forever. In actuality, permanent bridges often fail over time and need to be replaced. Removable partial dentures can take many design forms, depending on which teeth and or how many are missing. Many patients find removable partial dentures uncomfortable, and when cosmetics are not an issue, they choose not to wear their false teeth.

Dental implants can be used to replace entire segments of missing teeth with fixed restorations. Implants are the only option for fixed replacement when natural teeth are no longer present as anchors to hold conventional bridgework. Patients who are severely compromised can once again enjoy the benefits and comfort of fully functional chewing. And regaining the pleasures of unrestricted chewing and eating adds greatly to the quality of life.

Fully Edentulous (All Teeth Missing)

For patients who suffer the discomfort and embarrassment of dentures, implants can be a salvation. Lower dentures are such poor replacement devices that few people can wear them "successfully." Dental implants can be used to stabilize dentures in the simplest and most affordable application, offering considerable improvement. The most desirable solutions, however, are fixed restorations that do not come in and out. (Refer to the All-on-4 section.)

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Teeth In The Same Day

When dental implants were first introduced, a healing period was 3 months or longer for the implants to integrate into the jawbone. Today...
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