Did you know that humans have been striving for the ultimate form of tooth replacement for centuries? We can look back in time and see that mankind has tried everything from shells to human bone to replicate the structure of natural teeth when one or more has been lost. Tooth loss has been a prevalent problem amongst adults through the ages. Only recently have we seen a significant drop in toothlessness. In addition to helping people keep their natural teeth longer, dentists today also help them restore the highest degree of function when tooth loss does occur.
The Old Way
Historically, tooth replacement has involved only what we see: the crown of a tooth or teeth. This method serves a purpose, and yet it misses the mark. The theory behind dentures is that suction between the artificial fixture and the gums is sufficient to hold all teeth in place. If the form of the jaw remained consistent after tooth loss, this might actually work. The problem is that, without roots, the jaw does change, sometimes dramatically.
When the size and shape of the arch diminishes due to the breakdown of bone tissue, a denture cannot fit properly. In order to prevent slipping, or worse, the appliance requires relining every so often. All the while, the jawbone keeps changing and bone tissue degrades.
The New Way
Today, we know that we need to replace roots if we have a shot at coming close to full functionality. Dental implants allow us to do just that. In fact, research shows that this method of tooth, or root replacement is consistently effective, rating in the high 90% for long term success. Dental implants are tiny cylinders that we situate in the jaw. Their titanium composition encourages bone to attach around the post, reinstating a strong, reliable foundation for an individual tooth.
What's so impressive about implants is that this approach gives us the ability to replace one tooth by using a dental crown. We can also replace several adjacent teeth with an implant and bridge. Finally, patients who would otherwise need dentures may find that a few implants on the upper and / or lower arch significantly improves the stability of a full denture appliance.
While our preference is to save natural teeth for a lifetime, we are proud to have the technology in place to replace missing teeth - and the foundation they need for optimal functionality.
Learn more about dental implants and their many benefits in our Huntington Beach office. Call our dentist at (714) 848-4247.