For thousands of years, people have been looking at ways to replace permanent teeth that have fallen out. Some of the earliest dental implants were found in Central America almost 1500 years ago, and we have all heard about George Washington’s wooden teeth.
Fortunately, your replacement options have drastically improved, and you now have several great options. Implant overdentures and implant bridges are two options that help patients restore the beauty and function of their teeth while also helping to maintain the underlying bone and gums.
Many patients utilize implants for replacing one or even several of their teeth. Implants are small dental implants that are generally comprised of two parts, a titanium post that is inserted into the jaw, and then a crown that is attached to the top. The titanium portion is generally referred to as the implant. This small piece of titanium resembles a screw and is coated with a special material that allows the body to recognize it as a bone. In addition, microscopic holes are drilled throughout the implant.
Once the implant has been inserted into the bone, the body actually begins to grow new bone around it. This helps to ensure that the implant is properly secured, but also stops the process of resorption.
Resorption is the body’s natural process of removing bone that is no longer being used. Once a tooth has fallen out, your body may start to remove the bone. Unfortunately, this can cause the neighboring teeth also to become loose and shift or even fall out. Over time, serious bone loss can impair the strength of the bone and even affect a person’s facial appearance. Dentists prefer using dental implants, in part, to help stop resorption and increase bone density.
Traditional dentures and bridges are devices that are used to help restore the function of the teeth. Bridges utilize two crowns that are fit over your existing teeth, with prosthetic crowns held between them. Dentures utilize a single structure to mimic an entire arch of teeth that are attached to a plastic base that fits over your gums.
Unfortunately, neither of these options does anything to help maintain your underlying bone structure, so your jaw can become brittle and weak.
Implant overdentures and bridges utilize the same principle as traditional dentures and bridges. However, they attach to implants that are strategically placed along the jaw. The denture or bridge will then be specifically created to look and feel like your natural teeth but will be fitted directly on the titanium implant.
When these dental appliances are attached to the implant, your mouth will gain the function of your natural teeth but have the added benefit of helping to rebuild the strength of the underlying bone.
Patients who used traditional dentures and bridges often complain about their fit or appearance. Implant overdentures and bridges are securely fastened into your mouth, so you do not have to worry about them slipping out while eating a meal or when you have an important conversation.
Implant overdentures and bridges also offer our patients ease of care. They don’t have to worry about using all of the sticky and messy adhesives to hold their dental work in place. Many of our denture patients expressed the difficulty of eating certain foods with their dentures. Implant overdentures and bridges are secure, so you can bite into that crisp apple or chew through a delicious steak without worrying about your teeth.
If you are considering your teeth replacement options, call our offices today. We stay on the cutting edge of dental technology so we can make sure to off you the best possible solutions for your situation.