Dental Implants in Chesapeake, VA
If you are missing one or more teeth, you'll want to talk with us about replacements that are permanent and as natural as possible. Dental implants replace the roots of missing teeth and serve as a foundation for teeth that look, feel, and function like your own teeth. You can once again eat virtually anything, and you can smile with confidence knowing that your teeth appear natural. Dental implants are titanium posts placed in the jawbone to replace the roots of missing teeth. Over a period of several weeks, the bone bonds tenaciously to the titanium (called osseointegration). Once osseointegrated the implants serve as metal anchors, which then can be used to retain crowns, bridges or dentures. A single tooth, multiple teeth or a full arch of teeth can be replaced with dental implants. Implants are very durable, and they can last a lifetime. They are cleaned by brushing and flossing in the same way that teeth are maintained.
Why Replace Missing Teeth?
The loss of teeth can have a profound effect on one's bite, on the bony ridges and one's facial appearance. The more teeth that are lost, the greater will be the impact. Having gaps causes adjacent teeth to tilt and drift and opposing teeth grow into the gap. The result is an over-closure of the jaws. Also these shifted teeth become more prone to gum disease and tooth decay.
When teeth are lost, the supporting bone in the jaw begins to dissolve. The more missing teeth and the longer they've been missing, then the greater will be the bone loss. The loss of bone results in a collapse of the lips and cheeks. This sagging of the facial tissues along with over-closure of the jaw results in a facial appearance way beyond your years.
Dental implants replace the roots of missing teeth and therefore are able to Stop Bone Loss. They preserve the jawbone by preventing bone deterioration. So the sooner implants are placed, the sooner the bone is stabilized and adjacent and opposing teeth are maintained in their proper position. Implants can be used in many different ways:
Single Tooth Replacement
When a single tooth is lost, an implant is placed in the jawbone in order to replace the missing root. After 3 – 4 months, small posts that protrude through the gums are attached to the implant. These posts provide stable anchors to retain crowns. To the human eye, the crown appears to be a natural tooth.
Multiple Teeth Replacement
A) Permanent Solution
When multiple teeth are lost, implants are still the ideal treatment to permanently replace these teeth. Implants can be placed in the jawbone to replace each missing root or enough implants are placed in order to retain fixed permanent bridges. The number of implants needed depends on the size of the implant and the strength and amount of bone.
B) Removable Solution
Dental implants can be used to retain removable partial dentures. Special retainers are placed in the implants and these hold the partial firmly in place. The metal clasp arms that normally hold the partial are therefore not needed. The partial is still removable, but it has a much more natural appearance. This solution is less expensive than the permanent fix.
Complete Teeth Replacement
A) Permanent Solution
This replacement is equivalent to receiving a third set of teeth. Enough implants are placed in the jawbone (approximately 8 in the upper jaw and 6 in the lower jaw) and bridgework is permanently cemented into place to completely replace all upper and lower missing natural teeth. Adequate bone volume must be available to accomplish this solution.
B) Fixed Detachable Solution
This solution cannot be removed by the individual, but can be removed, cleaned and replaced by the dentist. The same number of implants must be placed in the jawbone as for the permanent fix, but a metal structure with pink acrylic and denture teeth is screwed onto the implants – instead of bridgework permanently cemented in place as for the permanent solution. The screws (which are not apparent) hold the appliance firmly in place, but are removable by a dentist. This looks natural and is less expensive than the permanent replacement.
C) Removable Solution
This approach provides for the retention and stabilization of dentures. Only 2 implants are needed in the lower jaw and 4 implants in the upper jaw. Attachments are placed on the implants and the teeth snap over these metal retainers. The teeth are held firmly in place, but can be unsnapped when one wished to do so. This is the least costly of all complete tooth replacements.
For more information about dental implants, our Chesapeake, VA office will be happy to help. Call us at (757) 436-0026.