Dental implants, simply put, are a Healthy Youthful appearance for missing teeth. Drs. Warren & Hardee are dedicated to providing each patient with the best solution to their oral health, which is why they often recommend dental implants over other restorations.
Losing teeth can be a traumatic experience, so our focus is on replacing those teeth with proven, minimally-invasive techniques that allow our patients to regain maximum use of their teeth while maintaining jaw strength, a natural appearance, and restored function.
Replacing a Missing Tooth
A natural tooth is anchored into the jawbone by its tooth root. Tooth roots attach firmly to the jawbone and keep your teeth stable when chewing solid foods.
Traditionally, if you were missing a tooth or if one needed to be extracted, the healthy teeth on either side of the missing tooth would be cut down and replaced with a three-unit "bridge."
A Dental Implant mimics the natural tooth root.
Dental implants are the modern alternative. Instead of cutting down two perfectly healthy teeth, the dentist inserts a dental implant into the jawbone to replace your missing tooth root. The implant becomes solidly fixed into your jaw bone (osseointegration). He then places a crown onto this artificial tooth root that looks, feels, and functions like your natural tooth.
Replacing Several Missing Teeth
Traditionally, several missing teeth would have been replaced with a removable partial or full denture.
Dentures have to be taken out and soaked at night. During the day, they can also look unnatural and rub painfully. Dentures and partials make it difficult or impossible to eat certain foods.
Dental Implant Supported Dentures are firmly anchored to the jawbone. This helps to prevent bone loss and mimics the feel of natural teeth.
Dental implants can now be used to anchor partial and full dentures. This prevents the slipping, irritation, and pain associated with "floating" partials and dentures. It also prevents the tedious removal of dentures for overnight soaking and cleaning. Dental implants also eliminates the expense and need for denture adhesives. This allows you to enjoy eating the foods you previously avoided. With dental implants, your partials or dentures are firmly anchored to the jawbone, allowing them to feel much more like natural teeth.
Natural tooth roots and dental implant posts are fixed firmly in your jawbone. When you chew, these tooth roots and posts stimulate the jawbone and prevent it from shrinking. You may have seen a person who looked prematurely old because their jawbone had shrunk after wearing floating dentures. Dental implants help preserve your jawbone and appearance.
The Success Rate of Dental Implants
After their healing period, the success rate of dental implants is between 94% and 98%. If you are a non-smoker with good oral hygiene, the percentage is closer to 98%.
Does the Procedure Hurt?
The discomfort involved with receiving a dental implant is similar to that of having a cavity filled. It is done under local anesthesia and patients generally experience little discomfort after the procedure, typically using over the counter pain medications like Tylenol or Advil. Patients say having the implant placed is much easier than having the tooth removed.
How Long Will Dental Implants Last?
Dental implants can last a lifetime in most patients. Though the life span of a dental implant will vary with each patient, many have lasted for more than 40 years. With good oral hygiene and regular cleanings, dental implants should last a lifetime. In contrast, the average life span of a traditional fixed bridge is between 7-10 years.