When George Washington lost his teeth over 200 years ago, the only treatment was a poorly fitting denture. (Fun fact, history buffs! They weren’t actually wooden; they were made from ivory and gold!)
Today, patients are a whole lot luckier compared to our forefathers. Dentures have improved dramatically in the past two centuries, and nowadays, they fit comfortably and function well. Even more recently, tooth replacement with dental implants has given patients the most natural feeling and functioning prosthesis yet.
A dental implant is comprised of a titanium screw-like device, which is inserted into a patient’s jaw bone in the area of a missing tooth. The implant itself functions like the root of a tooth and is used to anchor a prosthetic tooth, or crown, to the mouth. Implants and their crowns are solid, fixed prostheses, which patients can use to chew food and smile just like the rest of their natural teeth. Implants are also brushed and flossed as if they were natural teeth.
Sounds great! How do I get one?
Making a dental implant and crown takes several steps.
First, a thorough evaluation is necessary to plan the procedure. Many different types of dental implants are available, and we need to know as much about you and your mouth as we can so that we choose the right one.
During the evaluation, the dentist placing the implant will tell you what to expect and how to care for your mouth after the implant has been placed.
After the appropriate amount of healing time, an impression is taken and sent to a lab where artisans will craft your new implant crown to custom fit your smile and your bite.
Then the only thing left to do is place the crown in its proper orientation in your mouth!
What if I am missing multiple teeth?
Implants are great for replacing a single tooth, but that’s not all they can do! Dental implants can be used to support multiple teeth on just two implants (implant-supported bridges), and they can even be used to help patients who have no teeth at all.
Many patients who have been missing their teeth for years and have been wearing dentures are frustrated by the way the dentures don’t seem to be stable against their gums. This doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s a bad denture. The fact is that dentures just don’t work like natural teeth. For patients like this, implants can be used to hold the dentures in place so they don’t move around during eating or talking. And patients without teeth don’t have to settle for dentures! Implants can be used to hold replacement teeth that you don’t have to remove.
How do I get started?
Have you had a tooth removed recently? Was it was lost several years ago? Are you are missing one tooth, several teeth, or all your teeth? In all of these cases, implants can help.
Additionally, if you are unhappy with the way your denture fits in your mouth, please visit us to see if a dental implant can help you, too.
After you have your dental implant, you’ll be thankful that dental technology has come so far since the days of our founding fathers! Call (301) 963-0800 for an appointment today!