Dentures and bridges are both used to fill in the empty space in your mouth, but while they can take the place of the crowns of your teeth, they don’t replace the roots. This can be an issue over the long term; without stable tooth roots, your jawbone will start to break down, causing your facial features to collapse. Also, your dentures will start to slip as the underlying bone and gums change shape. To make sure your new teeth have the best support possible, call us and schedule a consultation with Dr. Gizachew to ask if dental implants from our Brick Township, NJ dentist are right for you.
You may have heard dental implants referred to as the modern gold standard for tooth replacement. An implant is a thin screw like post that is typically made out of titanium (a strong, highly biocompatible metal). It is inserted into the jaw via surgery and will gradually join with the bone through a natural process called osseointegration. When successfully placed, implants can be used to support artificial teeth that look and function very much like real ones.
Benefits of Dental Implants
As the only tooth replacement method that recreates the tooth’s root structure in addition to its visible crown, dental implants can accomplish many things that dentures or bridges alone simply cannot. In short, because of their surgical placement in the jawbone, they are able to look, feel, and function more like your natural teeth than any other solution. Here are just a few of the many, many benefits of dental implants in Brick Township:
The support and stability of dental implants will give your teeth additional chewing power, meaning you can eat all of your favorite foods without restriction. You’ll also be able to drink your favorite hot beverages, like your morning cup of joe, without worrying about your teeth warping when exposed to heat (like traditional dentures).
While modern dentures and bridges can look very lifelike, they won’t feel quite as natural as dental implants in Brick Township do. The titanium posts essentially trick your body into thinking your original teeth are still there. Eventually, you may even forget you have dental implants at all!
Because your teeth are anchored onto posts in your jaw, you can smile confidently with the knowledge that your pearly whites won’t feel loose, shift around, or fall out at embarrassing times.
Dental implants are the only solution that stimulates the jawbone, preventing the bone atrophy that ordinarily occurs after teeth have been lost. Not only does this preserve your facial shape to keep you looking young, but it keeps your jawbone strong enough to support your remaining teeth, lowering your risk of further tooth loss.
In terms of your oral health, dental implants are the most beneficial solution. Unlike traditional bridges, implants are self-supporting and don’t require existing healthy tooth structure to be removed in order to place them. Traditional dentures also notoriously irritate the gums, which may increase the risk of inflammation and infection.
Those reasons, coupled with the fact that dental implants are easy to care for, make this solution naturally promote better oral health. Because good oral health is linked with improved overall health, you’re really doing your body a favor by investing in dental implants!
As mentioned earlier, maintaining dental implants is simple. In fact, it’s pretty much exactly the same as taking care of natural teeth – just brush, floss, and visit your implant dentist in Brick Township for checkups and cleanings on a regular basis. If you follow these basic aftercare steps, your dental implants should be able to easily last for 30+ years, maybe even a lifetime.
Contrast this with traditional dentures and bridges, which have to be adjusted, repaired, or replaced every five to ten years at most. Eventually, these solutions will compound their original cost, making them more expensive in the long run than dental implants (which should, for the most part, only require a one-time payment).
If you want an investment that benefits your everyday life, your health, and your bank account, you can’t go wrong with dental implants!
Are Dental Implants Right for You?
Dental implants can be used to replace a single tooth, several teeth, or an entire arch of teeth. In other words, no matter how severe your tooth loss is, dental implants are a viable solution! Before we can begin the process, though, we’ll need to confirm that there’s enough bone density in your jaw to support the posts; we’ll also have to treat any signs of an infection that could lead to implant failure. Once we’re sure your mouth is ready, we can start planning the process based on the number of missing teeth.
Missing Single Tooth
Using a single dental implant instead of a dental bridge to replace a tooth allows us to fill a gap in your smile without sacrificing healthy tooth enamel. Once the implant fuses with the bone and the gums have completely healed, we can top the post with a crown that has been designed to match the rest of your smile.
Missing Multiple Teeth
It is possible to get multiple implants to replace teeth in different locations throughout the mouth should you need to. However, if you are missing several teeth in a row, there is a much more conservative solution: getting a dental bridge that rests on a pair of sturdy dental implants.
Missing All Teeth
Traditional dentures have been used to replace teeth for years, and we can make them stronger and more stable than ever before by attaching them to dental implants. This makes it easier for you to chew particularly tough foods and greatly simplifies the cleaning process by allowing you to brush and floss like you normally would.
Getting a dental implant is a process with multiple stages. At some dental offices, you might have to be sent to a separate specialist to have the implants placed in your mouth. Here at Brick Dental Care, though, implants can be placed and restored under the same roof. There’s no need to visit a separate dental office or deal with a doctor that you barely know; you can count on us to handle everything in an environment that you’re already familiar with.
Understanding the Cost of Dental Implants
Before you commit to getting dental implants, you need to make sure that you fully understand all of the costs involved. Not every patient will pay the same price for a new smile; some only need a single implant while others will receive multiple posts. Furthermore, sometimes additional steps like bone grafts and gum disease therapy will be required. We’ll form an estimate for you during your initial consultation, and we’ll help you figure out ways to keep out-of-pocket costs to a minimum (like using your dental insurance benefits to pay for specific aspects of the treatment).
The dental implant procedure is complex, and the exact steps involved in it vary from patient to patient. Some individuals who are not candidates for dental implants during their initial consultation may become candidates after some preparatory treatments. These advanced surgeries, which include bone grafts and sinus lifts, prepare your mouth to work well with dental implants so your new smile can thrive. Dr. G and our team make every effort to promote patient comfort during these surgeries.
After you lose one of your natural teeth, the bone that once supported it begins to be resorbed. That is to say, your body recycles the raw bone material for other purpose. This happens because there is no longer a tooth root there to stimulate the flow of blood and nutrients to the bone. The resorption, while it demonstrates the efficiency of the human body, has a major downside. The longer you go without natural teeth, the thinner, weaker, and smaller the jawbone becomes. Eventually, it may reach the point where it can no longer support a dental implant.
Bone grafting is often the ideal solution for to this problem. During a bone grafting procedure, Dr. G makes an incision in the gums and adds bone material to your jaw. The grafted material may be from elsewhere in your body, or it may come from a donor. After the incision is closed, your body will begin the process of integrating the graft. The procedure builds up the jawbone so it can support a dental implant.
In some cases, an implant can be placed at the same as a bone graft. In most cases, though, a patient must wait for several months after the graft before they can receive implants.
Bone deterioration in the upper jaw causes a significant problem. If there is not enough bone between the mouth’s interior and the sinuses, an implant might penetrate the sinuses and lead to complications. This may also be an issue if an individual has naturally large sinuses.
A sinus lift is often recommended for patients with a thin upper jaw. The procedure is a special type of bone graft. During this surgery, Dr. G creates an incision in the gums and the bone above them. He gently pushes the sinus membrane upward, than places a bone graft beneath it. Once your bone heals completely from the surgery (which may take 4 – 9 months), your upper jaw should be able to support dental implants.
Dental Implant FAQs
At Brick Dental Care, Dr. Gizachew believes in providing you with the information you need to make the right decision about your oral health. Determining how you will replace your missing teeth is nothing to take lightly, which is why our team is dedicated to offering additional insight and answering questions to provide clarity and transparency during this time. You will find a list of FAQs below from patients who have gone on to receive dental implants. If you have additional questions, please contact our office to schedule an appointment.
Are Dental Implants Safe?
Yes, in most cases, dental implants are a completely safe and effective option for patients looking to replace one or more missing teeth. If you are in good oral and overall health, there is a good chance you will be eligible for treatment. Should you have minimal bone density, there are preliminary treatments that can be performed to improve your chances of successful implant placement. If you have diabetes, cancer, or another medical condition, Dr. Gizachew will discuss the potential issues that can occur, as these can make it more difficult for you to heal after oral surgery.
Can I Get Dental Implants If I Smoke?
It is possible; however, you should know there is an increased risk of dental implant failure among those who smoke. The reason is that tobacco usage or smoking can cause the mouth to become dry. It also hinders the healing process and makes it more difficult for your implants to fuse with the jawbone and surrounding tissues. Smoking can also cause a dry socket to form, which can be increasingly painful if left untreated. It is strongly advised that smokers quit two weeks before their oral surgery and do not engage in the practice for 2-3 months afterward. If you smoke but want dental implants to replace your missing teeth, it’s better to find ways that you can kick the habit for good.
Do Dental Implants Make You Look Younger?
Absolutely! When missing teeth remain untreated for long periods of time, it can lead to changes in your facial shape, causing you to look older than you really are. Wrinkles can develop and what is known as “facial collapse” can occur with everything from your chin, jowls, and lips sagging. However, with dental implants, the titanium posts mimic your natural tooth root, causing the jawbone to remain stimulated while chewing and eating.
Do I Need a Bone Graft Before Getting Dental Implants?
It is not always necessary to undergo bone grafting before receiving dental implants, but it is ultimately up to your implant dentist to determine if you have enough jawbone density to support your future restoration. After capturing detailed scans of your facial structure, your dentist will review the images to determine if you need a bone graft. It is not uncommon for the bone to atrophy after teeth have been lost, as there is nothing to continue stimulating the bone. By performing a bone graft, we can transplant pieces of bone tissue, which will come from your body, an animal, or a human donor, into the weakened areas of your jawbone. Over several months, the new and existing bone will fuse and strengthen, creating a stronger foundation for your dental implants.