Of all the ways modern dentistry has to replace missing teeth, dental implants are by far the best. There is no tooth-replacement option that will give you a longer-lasting result. Implants also help preserve tooth-supporting bone that naturally deteriorates when a tooth is lost. Loss of bone is one of the major hidden consequences of losing teeth.

Dental Implant.

A dental implant most often takes the form of a small, screw-shaped titanium post that replaces the root-part of a missing tooth. The surgical procedure used to place an implant is actually quite minor and routine, requiring only local anesthesia in most cases. After a healing period, the implant is topped with a lifelike crown custom-made to match your existing natural teeth. Implants have a documented success rate of over 95%, which is significantly higher than any other tooth-replacement option.

How Implants Work

During a minor surgical procedure, your dental implant is inserted directly into the jawbone in the space vacated by the missing tooth. It will then be left to heal for a period of months before the final crown is attached. During this healing period, the implant actually fuses to the bone surrounding it.

Tooth Replacement Options Using Dental Implants

Implants can replace missing teeth in a variety of ways. They can be used to:

Dental Implants Replace One Tooth.Replace One Tooth — When you have one tooth missing, a single implant is inserted into the bone to replace the root part of that tooth; a crown then goes on top to simulate an actual tooth. This treatment choice has the highest success rate, making it the best long-term investment for replacing a single missing tooth. Even if the initial cost is slightly higher than other options, it is the most cost-effective solution over time. An implant will never decay or need root canal treatment, and feels just like the tooth that was there.

Dental Implants Replace Multiple Teeth.Replace Multiple Teeth — When you have more than one tooth missing, implants provide an ideal replacement mechanism. You don't even need one implant for every missing tooth. Instead, implant teeth can act as supports for fixed bridgework. For example, if you are missing three teeth in a row, we can place two implants, one on either side of the gap, and a crown in between that has no implant underneath. That way, you won't need to use any of your remaining natural teeth as bridge supports, which could weaken them and make them more susceptible to decay.

Dental Implants Replace All Teeth.Replace All Teeth Permanently — Implants can support an entire arch of upper or lower replacement teeth that are fixed into the mouth and are never removed. Sometimes the new teeth can be supported by as few as 4 implants. It's comparable to the structure of a table, which only needs 4 legs to hold it up. In cases where jawbone density and volume have deteriorated, 5 or 6 implants might be needed to support a row of 10 to 12 teeth. Dental implant replacement teeth protect your jawbone, won't slip, and should last a lifetime.

Dental Implants Support Removable Dentures.Support Removable Dentures — Implants can even make removable dentures more comfortable, effective and healthier to wear. Traditional dentures rest on the gums and put pressure on the underlying bone. This accelerates bone loss so that the jaw shrinks and the dentures slip, particularly on the bottom. But today dentists can attach a removable denture onto implants, transferring that pressure into the bone structure rather than the bone surface. This prevents the dentures from slipping while you eat and speak, and preserves the bone directly beneath them.

Implant Care and Maintenance

There are only two ways an implant can lose attachment to the bone and fail once it has successfully fused: poor oral hygiene or excessive biting forces. Poor oral hygiene and/or a lack of regular cleanings can lead to a destructive bacterial infection called peri-implantitis. Flossing and brushing your teeth on a daily basis, along with regular professional cleanings, can prevent this. Excessive biting forces can come from either a habit of clenching or grinding your teeth, or an insufficient number of implants to handle the forces generated by your bite. You should receive the correct number of implants so this does not happen. And if you have a habit of grinding or clenching your teeth, a nightguard will be recommended to protect your implants. After all, implants are a long-term investment in your smile, your health and your well-being, so it's best to protect your investment.

Related Articles

Dental Implants - Dear Doctor Magazine

Dental Implants – Your Best Option For Replacing Teeth Dental implants have many advantages over older methods of tooth replacement like bridges and dentures — from the way they function and feel to the way they look and last. Vigorous research has documented and confirmed that in the right situations, dental implant success rates are over 95%. It is no exaggeration to say that they have revolutionized dentistry. They may even change your life... Read Article

Losing Teeth - Dear Doctor Magazine

The Hidden Consequences of Losing Teeth For those missing even one tooth, an unsightly gap is actually the least significant problem. What's of far greater concern is the bone loss that inevitably follows tooth loss. Dental implants can preserve bone, improve function and enhance psychological well-being. Learn how implants serve both as anchors to support replacement teeth and preserve bone... Read Article

  • Top Reasons to Choose Dental Implants

    The dental implant is today's state-of-the-art tooth replacement method. It consists of a very small titanium post (the actual implant), which is attached to a lifelike dental crown. The crown is the only part of this tooth-replacement system that is visible in your mouth. The implant itself rests beneath

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    If you have lost any of your teeth, you no doubt realize there are consequences to living without them: Your smile may not look the way you want it to; eating, speaking and intimacy may be more difficult; and your self-confidence may fade. Though serious, these are not the only impacts. There are hidden

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  • Dental Implants FAQs

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  • Bone Grafting

    Replacement teeth supported by dental implants function so well and last so long because, like natural teeth, they are securely anchored in the jawbone for maximum support. In order to benefit from this remarkable technology, however, you need to have enough tooth-supporting bone in your jaw to hold

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  • Fixed Dentures

    If you have lost an entire arch of teeth (top and/or bottom), or are soon to have your remaining teeth removed because they are too unhealthy to save, you may be able to replace them with fixed dentures supported by dental implants. Doctors and patients alike prefer fixed over removable dentures because

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Park Slope Kids Dental Care

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  • "If you are looking for the perfect place to take your little one for his/her super-important first dental visit, this is the PERFECT FIT! I noticed the new practice that opened up in the neighborhood near where I work, and I’m so glad I gave it a try! Dr. Francis was amazing she made my little guy (he’s 3) feel completely at ease for his first appointment at the dentist. He don’t even cry once! If you knew my kid, you would know that is a major accomplishment! The office is clean and modern with state of the art equipment; totally unexpected for a kids dental office. I have decided to officially make Dr. Francis my munchkin’s dentist! I would definitely recommend the office to other parents and I have already passed the info along to friends and coworkers."
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  • "I have 3-year old twins and we visited Park Slope Kids Dental Care on 3/1 and it was a great experience. Dr. Francis is fantastic and her staff are wonderful. I had to reschedule my appointment at the last minute and they were super accommodating. The office is beautiful and kid-friendly–really. I’ve been to other offices where they claim to be kid-friendly and all I can see that makes it “friendly” are a few books and pint-size chairs. Nicole–mom to C & P (the best gifts ever)"
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  • "Dr. T Francis at Park Slope Kids Dental Care is great. At our appt yesterday, I hadn’t wanted to let all three to the exam room at once because they would incite a riot, but the doctor said that she welcomed it. She also let my eldest hold instruments during her sisters’ exam. Lovely doctor; great practice."
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  • "I cannot rave enough about this place! Dr. Francis was amazing and the staff was friendly and professional. The office is clean and modern, with lots of cool activities for kids. I like it that they will accomodate you if you don’t want your kid watching tv! A huge plus in my book! My son is 4 and the exam went off without a hitch. Before we knew it, his teeth were clean, his issues were addressed, and we were out the door with a balloon and a goodie bag! I was dreading this day, but we made it out without my son having a metldown! Dr. Francis is a godsend. This will be his dentist through college!!!!"
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