Dental Implants Give You The MOST For Your Investment When It Comes To Replacing Teeth.

Posted on Nov 28, 2018 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS

As a Periodontist, I have advanced training and skills to treat all levels of periodontal (gum) disease as well as in the reshaping of gum tissues in the mouth. Another realm of the periodontal specialty, however, is in the diagnosis and placement of dental implants.

In addition to the intense academic and hands-on training, I have completed continuing education on an ongoing basis to stay current on the latest advancements in the causes and treatment of all stages of gum disease as well as in new options in implant dentistry.

Although my specialty has provided an interesting and ever-evolving profession, I have developed a special closeness to dental implants. This is mainly because I am witness to the transformations they can make in people who choose to replace a denture, partial or bridge with this advanced, superior form of tooth replacement.

Dental implants are ideal replacements for missing teeth for a number of reasons. Through intricately-designed implant systems, modern techniques in placement and restoration, and advanced materials, adults now have a wide variety of options for replacing natural teeth.

Along with the developments in implant dentistry, my advanced training in the diagnosis and placement of dental implants gives me expanded skills to provide optimal results. While our patients mainly see the results of an appealing, confident smile once their treatment is completed, dental implant recipients receive a long list of benefits from this investment (including their ability to last a lifetime!).

One of the first things our dental implant patients notice is their ability to bite and chew again, without movement. Because dental implants are held by the jaw bone, just as natural tooth roots, the attached teeth have the same, dependable foundation as the natural teeth you once had.

People who eat with dental implants no longer worry about embarrassing or uncomfortable slips while chewing. They can dine with friends and eat the foods they love without the fear of slips or clicks. Dental implants also prevent foods from becoming trapped between the denture and tender gum tissues while eating. No longer do seeds or bits of nuts “stab” into the gums!

A benefit often overlooked by implant recipients, however, is their ability to halt bone loss. With natural teeth held by the upper or lower jaws, the bones are nurtured by the presence of tooth roots that provide stimulation and nourishment. Without their presence, the jaw bones begin to shrink, or “resorb.” Resorption is when these bones begin to lose mass, declining in height and width.

Bone loss leads to a number of problems. For one, resorption is why once-snug dentures and partials begin to slip and cause uncomfortable rubbing.

A new denture is designed to conform to the unique contours of your gum ridge (the gum-covered arch that once held your natural tooth roots). As the jaw bone declines in mass, the foundation it was designed to fit flattens. This results in a less secure fit that can allow for movement when chewing. Although denture pastes or adhesives may provide temporary improvement, eventually even relines (reshaping the interior contours) are of little help.

Once resorption begins, remaining teeth adjacent to the area of bone loss are affected. A shrinking bone that abuts areas of resorption weakens tooth root stability. This creates a domino effect. When a natural tooth is lost, statistics show the next to go will most likely be an adjacent tooth.

As bone loss continues, the ever-shrinking jaw provides a weaker foundation for remaining teeth. It can also result in a facial appearance that is far beyond one’s actual years. Bone resorption can be visually detected in people who have jowls, a collapsed mouth (know as a ‘granny look’) and a sharply pointed chin.

In cases where one or several teeth together are missing, crown-&-bridge combinations are an option. However, crowns and bridges can require repairs and/or replacements over time. And, they do nothing to halt bone loss. Another consideration is the need to crown otherwise healthy, natural teeth for the sole purpose of supporting a bridge. This compromises the integrity of a natural tooth for the sole purpose of supporting one side of a bridge.

To many people who choose dental implants to replace teeth, however, it is the appeal of making a lifelong investment that is the determining factor when comparing costs of implants to other tooth replacement options. Since they are designed to last a lifetime, many like dental implants for their ‘one and done’ choice of treatment.

For every patient, our goal is to provide the best outcome based on your long term goals. For a private consultation, call 828-274-9440 for an appointment or tap here to begin.

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