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How a dental implant can help you

We all lead active lives and sometimes accidents happen. It can be a shock to suddenly loose a tooth or several teeth, but dental implants can help you win back your smile.

Feel complete again with dental implants.

What is a dental implant?

A dental implant is an artificial tooth root made of titanium which replaces the missing tooth. The dentist inserts the implant into the jaw bone where the titanium then integrates with the bone. Just like your tooth root did before, the implant then builds a stable foundation for the crown, which will become the visible part of your new tooth.

Dental implants are very small, normally around 10 mm long and only 3-5 mm wide at the top.

Dental implants are very small, normally around 10 mm long

Crowns and bridges
Dental crowns and bridges are also known as replacement teeth. They can be made of different material and are used to replace any tooth that is missing or beyond repair. Beforehand, a dental laboratory designs each replacement tooth individually, so that it matches the bite, look and feel of your other teeth.

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A crown is used on a damaged tooth or on an implant.

A bridge can restore gaps between teeth. The outer parts of the bridge are placed on existing teeth next to the tooth gap, while the middle part replaces the lost tooth. Bridges can also be used on implants, usually when two or more teeth are missing.

Bridge or dental implant? - A comparison
To restore missing teeth, your dentist can also use a bridge. It consists of several replacement teeth that will literally bridge the gap. But using bridges on natural teeth can have several serious disadvantages:

Visible metal rims
Certain types of bridges, made of metal covered with porcelain, can lead to visible black metal lines at the rim of the bridge when your gums keep receding. An all-ceramic bridge can provide an alternative in such cases. Speak to your dentist if an all-ceramic bridge might be a good solution for you.

Sacrificing surrounding teeth
Bridges are anchored to adjacent teeth to keep them in place. This means, however, that these neighboring teeth must first be reduced in size.

Effects on jaw bone and gum
When you lose a tooth, it disturbs the interplay between teeth and bone. Gum and bone are no longer stimulated well enough, due to the missing tooth. Your jaw bone starts shrinking and your gum pulls back.

To avoid grinding down teeth and effects on jaw bone and gum, your dentist can replace the tooth root to create a completely new tooth with a dental implant.

Speak to your dentist to find the solution that’s best for you.

Why choose a dental implant?

Dental implants are widely considered to be the most successful method of tooth replacement used today, because they give a number of benefits to patients.

A natural smile
A dental implant looks and feels just like your natural tooth. The color, shape and contour of the new tooth is made to match. The result is a natural smile, that will bring back your confidence and quality of life. With your new teeth sparkling on the outside, you will soon feel a smile coming back on the inside.

Neighboring teeth stay intact
Other restoration methods often require neighboring teeth to be ground down to anchor the restoration in your mouth. Dental implants do not harm neighboring teeth.

Stable and comfortable fit
Since dental implants are fixed to your jaw bone, they are usually more stable, comfortable and long-lasting than other restorations. On top of that, dental implants are made of biocompatible materials, which means that your body tolerates them.

A long-lasting and proven solution
Dental implants are very durable. With proper care and good oral hygiene, implants will last for many years or even a lifetime. Decades of research have gone into their functionality, stability and esthetics, since the first patient received modern dental implants in 1965.

Cost-effectiveness
Implant treatment can be considered a long-term investment into your health and your wellbeing  - in short, an investment into your life. Compared to other restorations, costs can seem higher at first glance. However, higher maintenance costs, the potential increase in lost jaw bone and, ultimately, the loss of more teeth can make other restorations more expensive in the long run.1,2

Eat what you like
Did you have to give up on some of your favorite dishes since you lost your tooth? Dental implants bring back the full function of natural teeth. So no matter how hard, crunchy or sticky the food, dental implants can put it back on your menu.

What does treatment look like?

After an accident, the most important step for your dentist is to treat the wound or trauma caused by the accident.

If a tooth is severely fractured and beyond repair, the remaining tooth will be removed.

Often your dentist can then immediately place an implant with a provisional crown, so you can chew and smile again immediately after surgery. When the final crown has been made and arrives at the dental practice around three months later, it can be connected to the dental implant without further surgery. You can go back to your normal lifestyle.

Nobel Biocare implants are designed to maximize the opportunity for Immediate Function. A number of conditions have to first be fulfilled however. Speak to your dentist to find out if it is possible in your case.

References

Dierens M, Vandeweghe S, Kisch J, Nilner K, Cosyn J, De Bruyn H. Cost estimation of single-implant treatment in the periodontally healthy patient after 16-22 years of follow-up. Clin Oral Implants Res epub ahead 2014. 

Vogel R, Smith-Palmer J, Valentine W. Evaluating the health economic implications and cost-effectiveness of dental implants: a literature review. Int J Oral Maxillofac Implants 2013;28:343-56.

Treatment with dental implants is a surgical procedure and requires prior evaluation by your dentist to make sure your dental and general health permits dental implant treatment. Find out more