According to the The American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, approximately 69% of adults ages 35-44 have lost at least one tooth. This could be due to periodontal disease, tooth decay, or a failed root canal. Whatever the reason, losing teeth is common and can lead to problems with chewing, speaking, or smiling. Fortunately, there are different ways to replace them, including dentures, bridges and dental implants. Dental implants are a popular choice for replacing missing teeth because it has advantages the other methods lack.
If you’re looking to replace missing teeth and you live in either Gaithersburg, Maryland or Washington, DC, Dr. Akram Shouhayib and the team of dentists at K Street Dental can help you with that and a wide variety of other dental needs. K Street Dental combines cutting edge treatments with a welcoming and relaxing environment that will help you smile again.
What are dental implants?
Dental implants are a method of tooth replacement that uses metal posts in your jawbone to build the rest of the tooth onto. This allows for a stability other methods don’t and the replacement tooth will look and work like your other natural teeth. Implants can be used to replace a single tooth or a full upper or lower set of teeth, and can last for many years.
How is it done?
Implants are made up of three components: the post, the abutment, and the crown. Dr Shouhayib implants them by drilling a hole and placing a titanium post in your jawbone. The post then heals so it can fuse to your jawbone (a process known as osseointegration). Once that’s done, the abutment is added to the post. This is used to attach the crown. Finally, the prosthetic tooth is attached, commonly referred to as the crown.
In order to get this treatment, you should have a healthy jaw with enough bone to support the procedure. If you don’t, bone grafting may be possible before a post is implanted. The process of getting dental implants can take many months because of the time it will take for the post to heal before the rest of the implant is finished.
How is it different from other treatments?
Bridges and dentures are the other methods commonly used to replace missing teeth. Bridges can be done a couple of different ways. A tooth-supported fixed bridge is done by filing down surrounding teeth and inserting prosthetics, while a resin bonded bridge has wings on each side to attach to healthy teeth. Neither method is as strong or lasts as long as dental implants and the fixed bridge in particular can be difficult to floss, making healthy teeth more susceptible to tooth decay.
Dentures are generally cheaper than either bridges or implants, but they have their own complications. Whether you’re using a partial or a full denture, they can affect your ability to eat and speak normally. They’re also less comfortable and stable than the other options and need regular removal and cleaning.
Because dental implants are designed with stability in mind, they allow you to eat, smile and speak normally and pose no risks to your other teeth. It often takes more time to do, but the results give you normal function for your teeth for many years. So if you’re looking to get your smile back with dental implants, make an appointment with Dr. Shouhayib and K Street Dental today.