A dental implant is a screw that is placed in your jaw and acts as a tooth root. The implant receives a crown to complete the look. Dental implants can replace everything from a single missing tooth to a complete missing arch. Losing one or more teeth starts a chain of negative physical and cosmetic events such as, a gap in your smile, loss of chewing function and bone loss. Your jawbone needs the chewing action of teeth to keep it strong otherwise it will begin to disappear or atrophy. Without the support of your teeth and facial bones, your face will look prematurely aged. Bridges and dentures address the cosmetic aspect of missing teeth, but they do not address the bone loss. Also, a bridge requires that two or more teeth be ground down to serve as abutments or posts, leaving them at a greater risk for cavities and possibly requiring endodontic treatment (root canal). The bridge will ultimately fail if any of the abutment teeth fail.
With dental implants, the teeth next to the gap areas are left alone. Dental implants, like natural teeth transmit chewing forces to the jawbone thus reducing bone loss. Ask us today about the different dental implant options that are available to you.