Dental Implants

 

Dental implant consultations with Dr. Humphreys and consultation x-rays regarding dental implants are complimentary. Dental implants are gaining in popularity as people become more aware of the functional and cosmetic benefits of this alternative to traditional dental prosthetics like dentures or bridges.

Dental implants can definitely improve a smile and improve overall health. When a tooth is lost, bone where that tooth was located begins to deteriorate, affecting the surrounding teeth and potentially resulting in additional tooth loss. Following a thorough evaluation from your dentist, you may choose dental implants to replace your lost or missing teeth. The benefits of dental implants – both cosmetic and in terms of your health – can make them well worth investigating.

The History of Dental Implants

Dental professionals all over the world have been providing patients with dental implants for over 40 years. Dental implants are made up of surgical grade titanium, which offers a permanent solution for patients missing one, several or all their natural teeth. Research has shown that titanium integrates well with the bone structure allowing for ideal bite function to occur. This process of osseointegration was first discovered by Dr. P.I. Branemark in the 1960's. Since the time it was funded by the Nobel Research Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, millions of patients have enjoyed the benefits that dental implants provide.

Since the advent of the implant, engineering and enhancements to the implant have enabled dentists to expand the implant's usefulness, including the replacement of missing or lost teeth. Dr. Humphreys has been able to provide most patients the ability to leave the day of surgery with a temporary tooth in place. The final crown will be placed in as little as eight weeks from surgery.

The Benefits of Dental Implants

One of the greatest benefits of dental implants is that a missing tooth is replaced leaving you with a natural, attractive looking smile. Dental implants also help to preserve your overall dental health as having missing teeth and exposed gums can often times lead to abscess and infection.

Dental implants also help to preserve the bone structure of the jaw. When a tooth is missing, the bone there begins to dissolve and eventually cause the surrounding teeth and bone to shift, potentially leading to further tooth loss.

Dental implants also allow for an improved diet. About 30% of people with dentures mostly stick to a soft food diet, while nearly half of denture wearers avoid certain foods all together because it is difficult to chew or bit into. Dental implants function like your own natural teeth because they have been permanently implanted into the jaw. This allows you to maintain a healthier diet with a wider variety of food choices.

Dental Implants vs. Bridge

While a tooth supported bridge may seem like a reasonable choice for some, there are several disadvantages over dental implants, including:

  • The potential decay of surrounding teeth due to the removal of enamel to make room for the cemented bridge.
  • Bone deterioration that naturally occurs when a tooth is missing. Bridges only provide the illusion of a tooth, but it's not implanted into the bone like implants.
  • Future potential tooth loss, which can occur as the bone structure diminishes and destabilizes the adjacent teeth.
  • The need to be replaced within 15 years or sooner.

Dental implants on the other hand provide several advantages, such as:

  • Leaving the adjacent teeth alone so the health of these teeth is not compromised.
  • Bone structure is not compromised because a titanium implant is placed in the bone to recreate the natural anatomy.
  • Hygiene is better because crowns are far easier to clean than a bridge.
  • With proper care, they can last a lifetime!

When you consider the lifetime detrimental effects a bridge can have, most patients choose dental implants.

Dr. Humphreys has placed thousands of implants. Years ago patients generally had to wait six months after an extraction before the implant could be placed. Today, implants can often be placed the day of the extraction, dramatically shortening the time before restoration. Dr. Humphreys strongly feels that implants are more natural and often a more permanent replacement for missing teeth.

Free Consultation

Again, please note that a consultation with Dr. Humphreys and consultation x-rays regarding dental implants are complimentary. We will be glad to discuss this option with you and any questions you might have.

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