Living with missing teeth can be uncomfortable and damaging. Along with lowering self-esteem, missing teeth can affect your oral and overall health. This damage can be exacerbated when a missing tooth is not replaced for an extended period of time. At Dallas Oral Surgery Associates, we offer a range of solutions to replace missing teeth. We customize treatment to the needs of our patients, allowing them to receive a solution best suited to replacing your teeth and restoring your smile.
What Is A Dental Implant?
A dental implant is an appliance that allows us to replace one or more teeth. Each implant consists of a screw, an artificial tooth, and an abutment that connects the two. The implant screw is usually made of either titanium or zirconium and is surgically embedded in the jawbone. Over time, the bone will grow around and bond to the screw, allowing the implant to function like a natural tooth.
A dental implant cannot easily be differentiated between a natural tooth. They look and function the same as a natural tooth and are able to withstand the same biting and chewing forces as natural teeth can.
How Are Multiple Tooth Implants Used?
Traditionally, dental implants replace only one tooth. Patients with multiple missing teeth sometimes opt to replace them with individual dental implants. This option, however, is usually not the most cost-effective way of replacing missing teeth. This is especially true if multiple neighboring teeth are missing or if all the teeth on one jaw are missing. In these circumstances, there are other treatment options available.
While traditional dental bridges require natural teeth on either side of the gap to support the bridge, an implant-supported bridge is supported by and attached to dental implants. A row of three replacement teeth can be placed on two implants, allowing a left and right crown to support a single, centered replacement tooth.
The All-on-4® Treatment Concept
All-on-4® refers to a procedure in which all the teeth on the upper or lower jaw are replaced with a prosthetic arch of teeth. Typically, one arch is placed on four dental implants.
Unlike traditional dental implants where bone loss in the jaw may present a problem when placing implants, the All-on-4® procedure can be performed on patients with bone loss without the need for bone grafting. The implants supporting the All-on-4® arch are strategically placed to maximize contact between the implant and the bone, and the two implants placed at the back of the mouth are longer than traditional implants.
Implant-supported dentures are another option for patients who have lost all their teeth on one or both jaws. Like the All-on-4® treatment, this procedure involves affixing a prosthetic arch of teeth onto dental implants, but this involves a minimum of two implants. The implant-supported denture, however, is removable and requires the implants to be surrounded by bone. This makes implant-supported dentures a less-viable option for patients experiencing bone loss.
Am I Suited For Dental Implants?
During your consultation, your surgeon will examine your medical history, health, and lifestyle to determine if you are a candidate for receiving dental implants. Certain medical conditions, including diabetes, and treatments such as radiotherapy may present problems during treatment. If you smoke, you may be asked to quit or abstain, as smoking reduces blood flow and directly hinders healing.
If you are seeking restorative options for missing teeth, we are committed to finding a solution that fits your needs. You can find out more about dental implant options or schedule a consultation by calling our office at 214-363-9946.