About Dental Implants
Natural-looking, comfortable replacements for missing teeth
What is a Dental Implant?
A dental implant is an artificially constructed replacement for a natural tooth root. A biocompatible titanium post is inserted into the jawbone and acts as the replacement root. A connecting section known as an abutment is placed on top of the implant to serve as the attachment point for a crown, dental bridge or denture.
Implants are considered the modern gold standard of tooth replacement. They take the place of traditional dental bridges, dentures, and partial dentures. With modern technology, most patients can take advantage of this superior tooth replacement option.
Dental implants function, feel and look just like natural teeth. If cared for properly they can last a lifetime. Implants are the strongest and most long-lasting tooth replacement option, and have a proven track record of long-term success. Modern dental implants have many advantages over other forms of tooth replacement.
Who are candidates for Dental Implants?
Due to advances in technology, most patients can now successfully receive dental implants. In the past, implants could not be placed if bone loss was too severe at the implant site. Our doctors use advanced bone grafting procedures to replace the lost bone and provide the support for implants to be placed successfully.
People can now receive implants even if they have health conditions that formerly made successful implant placement too risky. This includes such things as diabetes, heart disease, and heavy smoking. Our doctors can work directly with your physician if necessary to ensure these factors do not adversely affect success.
Age is not a factor in being able to receive implants, although young people with jaw structures that are still growing are not eligible.
Benefits and advantages of Dental Implants
Dental implants act just like the roots of natural teeth. Because of this, they have many advantages over all other tooth replacement options.
Implants look and feel just like natural teeth
Implant-supported teeth look and feel just like natural teeth. Our patients have often say they cannot tell which tooth is the implant.
Implants restore full biting and chewing power
The implant in the supporting bone is as strong or stronger than the original tooth. Thus the implant tooth has the same biting and chewing power as a healthy natural tooth.
Implant-supported bridges and fixed-in implant-supported dentures have a nearly full recovery of biting and chewing power, which is far superior to dentures. Dentures have only 10% of normal chewing power, which severely limits your food options.
Implants help you get full nutrition
With full recovery of normal biting and chewing power, you can eat the foods you need for proper nutrition. You no longer have to eat only soft food or avoid many healthy options.
Implants help prevent bone loss
Implants provide the chewing and biting pressure necessary to maintain healthy bone structure in your jaw.
The bone in your jaw needs stimulation from your chewing and biting to maintain its volume and density. When teeth are missing, there is no stimulation and you lose bone where the tooth used to be.
Dentures do not provide the needed bone stimulation either. In fact, dentures can accelerate bone loss.
Single-tooth implant, Implant-supported bridges and fixed-in implant-supported dentures provide needed stimulation at the implant site and maintain needed bone.
Implants keep adjacent teeth stable
A gap caused by a missing tooth can destabilize the adjacent teeth, causing them to tilt or shift toward the gap. Your adjacent and opposing teeth can gradually collapse into the space left by the missing tooth.
Once shifted, the long-term stability of these teeth is compromised. They become more susceptible to bone loss if shifting has reduced their chewing and bite pressure. If the shift causes increased pressure, the added strain can cause them to fracture or break. You can also get problems with jaw joint (TMJ) pain as a result of the bite being misaligned.
A dental implant tooth provides the necessary support for the adjacent teeth and prevents them from shifting and all its consequences.
Dental implants can prevent facial collapse
With progressive bone loss caused by tooth loss, the jawbone under the tooth loses both height and thickness. When you have no teeth in an arch, the entire boney ridge which the teeth were placed on eventually wears down.
It is the jawbone height that forms the space between your nose and the bottom of your jaw. As the jawbone loses height, that space diminishes. This causes the lower third of your face to collapse.
When the lower third of your face collapses, you develop wrinkles around your mouth, your skin sags, your lips appear thin and your chin sticks out and becomes more pointed. You appear much older than with healthy dental jawbone.
This is very pronounced in people who have lost all their teeth and have practically no chewing or biting pressure, as with dentures.
Dental implants act just like real teeth. They provide the chewing and biting stimulation that supporting bone needs to maintain its volume and density.
Dental implants can help prevent gum disease
Gaps caused by missing teeth can act as traps for food particles and bacteria and can lead to gum disease. Dental implants reverse this problem.
Implant-supported dentures function more like natural teeth
Dentures can be supported by dental implants. As a result, the denture will not shift or loosen in your mouth. And there is no need for the artificial palate in the top denture, which also dulls your sense of taste.
With implant-supported dentures, your biting and chewing capability is enhanced, depending on how many implants you use for support. You can speak without worry of slippage and avoid the pain that comes from denture friction on your gums.
Dental Implants can last a lifetime
Dental implants are made out of titanium, which is non-corrosive, biocompatible and very strong. The implant is as strong or stronger than a regular tooth root. Properly cared for, dental implants can last a lifetime.
Implants are stronger than Dental Bridges
A bridge requires the grinding down of the adjacent teeth. This weakens the teeth and is far more invasive than simply replacing a missing tooth with a dental implant. Bridges often develop complications after about 5 to 7 years, sometimes requiring a root canal or other procedure. A dental implant is the strongest and longest-lasting option available.
“Dr. Hodges was really friendly and knowledgeable.”
“I had a broken tooth, receding gums, and general gum disease.
“The staff at the practice were all so friendly and willing to work with me and make me feel comfortable. The office was very well maintained and inviting.
“Dr. Hodges was really friendly and knowledgeable. He answered all my questions and explained the procedures and what I could expect in depth. I had confidence in him after the initial analysis was done and he had presented his findings and treatment plan.
“My upper gums have recovered and remain stable and healthy. The implant and crown took the place of my tooth so I don’t have a huge hole there. The hole was from a bottom front tooth so you could see it when I talked. Now there’s a tooth that looks natural, and I don’t feel self-conscious.”
– Glen, Implant and Gum Treatment Patient
To make an appointment, call our Rockwall 972-771-8640 or Paris 903-785-4832 office, or click here to request an appointment online.