Dental Implants – A Bionic Smile!

Posted on Sep 25, 2018 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS

Modern medical science is amazing. Today’s technology has helped to advance the ability to provide miraculous solutions to many once-challenging problems. For example, “bionic” arms and hands have been developed to function almost normally. Today, prosthetic legs are moving people out of wheelchairs and into positions to walk and run.

When I think of dental implants, I realize just how miraculous they are as well. While some people think of dental implants as fairly recent on the scene, they have actually been around since the 1950’s.

Like prosthetic limbs, many types of dental implants have been developed to accommodate specific needs. For example, one known as ‘All-On-4’ is designed for people who have lost a great deal of bone mass. Using a specific design and placement at unique angles, the All-On-Four system overcomes the problems of severe bone loss to support a full arch of non-removable teeth.

Other implant types can support one or a bridge of two or more replacement teeth. Some implant systems are ideal for placement at the time of tooth removal. Still, other systems work in conjunction with additional implants to support multiple teeth.

For individuals who have experienced bone loss (which commonly occurs from years of missing tooth roots), bone grafting can be performed prior to implant placement. Or, bone rebuilding materials can be added to existing bone to rebuild it.

Bone loss is a big deal, even though it’s not always obvious at first. Known as ‘resorption,’ this occurs when tooth roots no longer exist in the jaw bone that once supported natural teeth. Over time, the bone begins to shrink due to lack of stimulation.

Bone loss is the reason that once snug-fitting dentures begin to slip or move while eating. As the ‘ridge’ flattens (which is the gum-covered arch where tooth roots were once held), the foundation that the denture was originally made to conform declines in height. As the bone shrinks, the denture has less and less of a base to support it.

For people who are missing one or several natural teeth, it is paramount that they be replaced, preferably with dental implants. Why? Statistics show that natural teeth adjacent to a lost tooth are at greater risk for being the next to be lost.

Dental implants recreate stimulation to the jaw bone, thereby halting the pace of bone loss. When bone mass is maintained, neighboring teeth have a reduced risk for being lost as well.

Because dental implants are held in the jaw bone, they are also able to restore a natural biting strength with dependable stability. Having the ability to bite and chew efficiently and enjoy a diet of foods you love enhances eating pleasure and proper digestion. It’s no surprise that people who wear dentures have more gastrointestinal problems than those who have their natural teeth.

There are so many advantages to having dental implants. One of the best ones is their longevity. When dental implants are properly selected, placed and maintained, they should last your lifetime. This is why it’s so important to have your implant treatment through a Periodontist.

A periodontal specialist has advanced training and skills in the diagnosis and placement of all types of dental implants. He or she can enhance your ability to enjoy this miraculous tooth replacement option for your lifetime.

If you have lost natural teeth or are facing the potential of tooth removal, call 828-274-9440 to schedule a consultation. This will occur in a private, comfortable consultation room conveniently located in our Asheville office.

During this time, we’ll discuss the implant systems that may work best for your needs and preferences. I’ll explain the treatment involved and sedation options along with estimated treatment fees.

Just as you would want a hand or a leg replaced with a normal looking and functioning prosthetic, you certainly want replacement teeth that function properly and look as natural as the teeth you once had (or better!).

Call today and arrange an appointment to discuss getting your smile back to better-than-ever!

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