Don’t Let Missing Teeth Mess Up Your Smile. Let Dental Implants Restore Your Smile.
From gum disease and decay to backyard football accidents, there are myriad reasons why a person can be missing a tooth. An estimated 69% of Americans age 35-44 are missing at least one tooth. While it may be tempting to leave the gap and not replace the missing tooth, this can lead to a variety of dental problems. The best solution is to have Boise Dentist Scott Wright and the team at Centennial Dental Center replace your missing tooth with a dental implant. Dental implants provide a long-term solution, often lasting the remainder of the patient’s life. They also function exactly like a natural tooth, allowing you to eat anything you want without worry. To learn more about Dental Implants, contact our Boise Office at (208) 322-1112.
What are dental implants?
Dental implants are the anchor that is placed in the jaw and is just one part of the prosthetic tooth replacement. What many people think of as dental implants consist of three sections: the implant, the abutment, and the crown. The implant is made of titanium and is screwed down into the socket of the former tooth root. The jawbone then grows around the implant, fully making it a part of the jaw. Afterward, your dentist will place a post, also called the abutment, on the implant, and attach a crown (false tooth) to the post.
Why should I have an implant to replace my missing tooth?
People can think that replacing a missing tooth is simply a cosmetic issue, and if the missing tooth is relatively inconspicuous they may opt to leave the gap and not replace the missing tooth or teeth. However, this can lead to dental problems:
- Bite Alignment Issues – The teeth surrounding the missing tooth no longer have pressure on them to stay in place, so they slide over into the gap. This movement can change your bite and overall alignment.
- Jaw Bone Deterioration – When you chew or bite, the tooth takes the energy and transfers it down the tooth into the jawbone beneath. This energy signals the jawbone to build new bone mass, keeping it healthy. When a tooth is missing, that energy doesn’t enter the jawbone, and it begins to deteriorate, which leads to a sunken appearance in the area as the jawbone collapses inward.
- Nutritional Issues – A missing molar can keep a person from eating certain foods, due to the difficulty in chewing them. This can lead to nutritional issues.
- Speech Issues – Missing teeth can create whistling sounds when speaking.
Why would I choose an implant over a bridge?
There are basically two options for replacing a missing tooth, a dental implant or a bridge. People sometimes opt for a bridge due to the lower initial cost and a shorter procedure length. But Dr. Wright thinks implants are the superior option for his Boise patients.
Once placed, a dental implant behaves exactly like a natural tooth. The patient can eat any foods without worrying about the bite strength. Bite force transfers down into the jawbone, as it does with a natural tooth. This doesn’t happen with a bridge. Plus, when placing a bridge the teeth on both sides of the missing tooth or teeth need to have crowns placed atop them to anchor the bridge. This involves shaving down some of the healthy top portion of the teeth to make room for the crowns. In contrast, implants don’t affect the adjacent teeth at all. And while a bridge may initially be cheaper, it will probably need to be replaced every 10 years or so, where an implant can last for decades.
What makes a good candidate for dental implants?
For a patient to be able to have an implantin Boise, ID, he or she must have sufficient jawbone mass to support the titanium implant. If the person has been missing the tooth or teeth for some time, there is a good chance that there has been some deterioration of the jawbone. There may not be enough structural jawbone to adequately support the implant. In these cases, jawbone grafts will be necessary to grow new bone mass before an implant can be placed.
Otherwise, just about any adult of any age can have an implant. The patient’s jawbone must be fully developed when placing an implant, hence the “adult” requirement.
Are Dental Implants Suitable For Children?
Dental implants have improved the way we address tooth loss in adults. However, Dr. Wright does not recommend this treatment for young children. Successful implants require the integration of a small post into the jawbone. When the jaw is still growing, up until the teen years, there is a chance that an inserted implant will not be in the intended position. Dr. Wright believes implant treatment in Boise, ID is best after full jaw development.
How is a dental implant placed?
This is the standard process for placing the implant:
- Implant placement — After the patient is anesthetized, Dr. Wright drills a tiny hole into the socket of the former tooth root. He then screws the titanium implant down into that hole.
- Osseointegration — The second step is what makes a dental implant function just like a natural tooth. After the implant is screwed into the jawbone, time is allowed for the jawbone to grow around the implant, making it truly a part of the jaw. This process, called osseointegration, takes from three to six months.
- Attaching the post — Once osseointegration is complete, you return and Dr. Wright attaches a post, called an abutment, to the implant. Then, we again let your gums heal for approximately six more weeks.
- Attaching the false tooth — When your gums have healed, you’re ready for your dentist to attach the crown (false tooth) to the post. Dr. Wright uses only porcelain crowns in his practice, so it will beautifully match your surrounding teeth and provide unparalleled strength and durability. Once your crown is attached, there is no recovery time. You can go out and eat what you want and show the world your new, complete smile.
Dr. Wright has assembled an excellent staff. Friendly, efficient and very good at their jobs. Consistently doing things right each and every time.
Is the dental implant procedure painful?
When getting a dental implant at our Boise, ID office, you should experience only minor discomfort. Over-the-counter pain relievers should be all you need. The only real issue comes as the gums heal, but this is not a sharp pain and passes relatively quickly. After Dr. Wright places the crown onto the post, you can use your new false tooth immediately without any pain.
How long does a fake tooth last?
Dental implants are the longest lasting dental prosthetics. If you properly care for your false tooth with diligent home hygiene and twice-yearly professional dental checkups and exams with Centennial, your implant can last the remainder of your life.
Will a false tooth look just like my natural teeth?
Because we use porcelain crowns, your fake tooth will look just like your adjacent natural teeth. Porcelain and natural tooth enamel have similar characteristics in the way light shines off of them. No one will know which tooth is an implant; they will only know that you no longer have the gap in your teeth.
If you are in Meridian, Boise, Eagle, or surrounding areas and are in need of a dental implant, fill out our contact form!