An implant crown is composed of three items, the dental implant (screw in the bone), abutment (post above the gums), and the crown that ultimately replaces the look of the missing tooth. In years past a bridge or partial denture were the treatment of choice for a missing tooth, but implant dentistry has allowed us to replace a tooth that looks and feels more lifelike than any prosthetic in history.
Dentists have been using bridges to replace missing teeth for one hundred years, but there have always been downfalls to this procedure. First, the teeth next to the missing teeth must be reduced in size. These teeth will serve as the anchors for the bridge, but losing enamel on a good tooth is never ideal. Secondly, the bridge is one unit and you cannot floss in a traditional sense. You must push floss underneath the bridge to keep the area clean which takes extra time. Most patients do not floss as regularly as we request and we don’t want to add another hurdle to the process. In conclusion, we still utilize bridges in some cases, but implants are a far superior option if possible.
Removable partial dentures are the final main method of tooth replacement. This is and always will be the least expensive option to replace a tooth. They are quick and efficient, but the number one complaint is the removability. They often have metal or plastic clasps which are unaesthetic, and over time have a tendency to loosen. As with bridges, we still utilize this treatment, but a fixed treatment is often preferred.
Dental implants are extremely detailed procedures and require compliance from the patient, but also advanced training and a perfectionist mentality from the doctor to ensure the final restoration looks and feels like the real thing.
Does your denture rock and move around? Implants can also be placed in the bone under the denture and help hold it in place. Over time, the bone will shrink leaving less and less support for your denture. Dental implants can help stabilize your denture and give to freedom from a loose denture.
Dr. Slager completed a year long continuum in advanced implantology and is a fellow with the American Academy of Implant Dentistry. He dedicates hours of planning to each and every case to ensure that each and every implant crown has the best result possible. He will walk through the entire procedure with you, and explain everything along the way. His team is also expertly trained to monitor your implants after placement and keep them healthy.
Contact us today to see if dental implants are a good option for your missing tooth.