If missing teeth aren’t replaced, it results in bone loss, shifting and excessive wear on the remaining teeth, problems with chewing and speaking, and changes in your appearance. While you can get a dental bridge or dentures, dental bridges involve altering the adjacent, healthy teeth and dentures can slip, cause discomfort and look unnatural. Additionally, bone loss will still occur with both options. There is another solution! Dental implants are the ideal way to replace missing teeth. Implants can last a lifetime, while also preserving the tooth-supporting bone, your appearance and your oral health. To find out if you’re a candidate for dental implants in Fryeburg, ME, call us at (207) 935-3133 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Mike Harper or Dr. Alyssa Hennessy.
What are Dental Implants?
A dental implant most often takes the form of a small, screw-shaped titanium post that replaces the root of a missing tooth. The implant is surgically placed in the jawbone and after a healing period, the implant is topped with a lifelike crown that has been custom-made to match your existing teeth. Implants have a success rate of over 95%, which is significantly higher than any other tooth-replacement option. They’re long-lasting and you will be able to chew, speak and smile just as you would with your natural teeth.
Our Fryeburg dental implants can replace missing teeth in a variety of ways.They can be used to:
Replace One Tooth
When you have one missing tooth, a single implant is inserted into the bone to replace the tooth’s root. A crown then goes on top to simulate an actual tooth. Due to the high success rate, a dental implant is the best long-term investment for replacing a single missing tooth. Even if the initial cost is slightly higher, it’s the most cost-effective over time. An implant will never decay or need root canal treatment, and it feels just like the natural tooth that was once there.
Replace Multiple Teeth
When you have more than one tooth missing, dental implants are the ideal replacement. You won’t need one implant for every missing tooth. Instead, the implants can act as supports for fixed bridgework. For example, if you’re missing three teeth in a row, we can place two implants, one on either side of the gap, and a crown in between that has no implant underneath. This way, you won’t need to use any of your remaining natural teeth as bridge supports, which could weaken them and put them at a higher risk for decay.
Replace All Teeth Permanently
We can use dental implants to support an entire arch of upper or lower replacement teeth that are fixed permanently into the mouth and don’t need to be removed like dentures. Sometimes, the new teeth can be supported with a few as four implants. In cases where jawbone density and volume aren’t adequate, five or six implants might be needed to support a row of 10 to 12 teeth. Dental implants will protect your jawbone. Additionally, the replacement teeth won’t slip, they’ll look natural and they can last a lifetime.
Support Removable Dentures
Dental implants can even make removable dentures more comfortable, functional and healthier to wear. Conventional dentures rest on the gums, putting pressure on the underlying bone. This hastens bone loss causing the jaw to shrink and the dentures to slip, especially on the bottom. Dr. Harper and Dr. Hennessy can attach a removable denture to implants, transferring that pressure from the bone surface to the bone structure instead. This prevents the dentures from slipping while you eat and speak, and preserves the bone underneath them.
Benefits of Dental Implants
Comfortable and Lasting
Dental implants are the most stable, comfortable solution for missing teeth. With proper care, a dental implant can last a lifetime.
Dental implants preserve the tooth-supporting bone, which protects your oral health and prevents facial collapse, making you look more youthful.
Dental implants provide a durable, strong foundation for replacement teeth. They’ll look and function just like your natural teeth.
What to Expect
Dr. Harper and Dr. Hennessy use cutting-edge diagnostic and treatment planning technology for the safe and accurate placement of dental implants. During a minor surgical procedure, they’ll insert the implant into the jawbone in the space left behind by the missing tooth. As you heal, the implant will fuse with the bone surrounding it.
After the healing period is complete, you’ll visit the office to have your permanent replacement tooth placed. We create lifelike porcelain crowns that match the shape, size and color of your existing teeth and seamlessly blend in with your smile. You’ll be able to chew, speak and smile with confidence.