Introduction to Dental Implants
Dental implants are an ideal option for patients in good general oral health who have experienced tooth loss due to trauma, decay, or periodontal disease. Dental implants can look and feel like natural teeth and can last a lifetime if given the proper placement and maintenance.
Why are implants better than dentures and bridges?
Complete or partial dentures and bridges are other options for replacement of missing teeth. However, dental implants are often a better solution for several reasons:
- Adjacent teeth do not have to be altered to support an implant, as is necessary with a fixed bridge. This promotes better overall oral health because it leaves more of your own teeth untouched.
- Dental implants are not susceptible to decay as are crowns and bridges.
- Dental implants are more stable in function than are conventional dentures.
Placement of Dental Implants
Dental implants can replace a single tooth or multiple teeth. They can be used to stabilize a partial denture or complete denture. The implant will serve as the foundation for either a single crown or a fixed bridge replacing multiple teeth.
Replacing all of your teeth is also possible with implant-supported full bridges, or with implant-supported dentures. Patients are able to preserve their natural bite with implants. Implants provide more comfort and stability than conventional dentures and bridgework.
As an implant specialist, Dr. McKenzie is uniquely trained in the placement of various implant designs. Each patient’s unique bone structure determines the specific implant design for each patient application.
Although proper oral hygiene is always recommended for maintaining good dental health, it is especially important when a patient has received a dental implant. Bacteria from plaque can affect the implant site as it does with natural teeth.
Additionally, implants are very susceptible to damaging forces from a patient’s bite. Timely evaluation and adjustment of the bite is necessary with implant patients.
Dental implants can last for decades when given proper care. Depending on the individual patient, Dr. McKenzie may suggest a more frequent periodontal checkup schedule in addition to the recommended two standard checkups a year.