A missing tooth can be embarrassing, but it’s more than just a gap in your smile. Missing teeth create oral health problems and compromise the health of remaining teeth. Dental implants are a popular, permanent option to fill the gap left by a lost tooth. Monleudy Bracken, DDS, and the team at Vibrant Smile Dentistry in Norfolk, Virginia, offer expertise in restorative dentistry and dental implants to adults of all ages. Schedule an appointment online or call the office to learn more.
A dental implant is a permanent solution for a missing tooth. It’s an artificial tooth root that fuses with your jawbone, so it looks and acts like a natural tooth. The dental implant is a metal rod and abutment, of which a prosthetic tooth, called a crown, fits on top.
Dental implants are a popular treatment in restorative dentistry because they have strong, stable bases. Unlike traditional dentures, which can be loose and uncomfortable, your dental implant is permanent and immovable.
When you get a dental implant, it takes two visits to Vibrant Smile Dentistry. At the first appointment, your dentist surgically places the metal rod into your jaw. You return to the office after it heals, and the dentist fits a custom crown onto the rod.
Chewing, talking, and smiling requires more than healthy teeth. Your teeth work together with your gums and your jaw, and when a tooth is missing, it changes the way your mouth works. Remaining teeth must compensate for the missing tooth, while the gap makes everything from gum deterioration to shifting teeth more likely.
By replacing a missing tooth with an implant, you can use your mouth more naturally. The implant helps redistribute pressure across your teeth when you chew, reducing the risk of other teeth suffering damage.
The dental implant encourages healthy gum and bone growth, too. It gives your gums something to grow around, preventing gum recession, and it stimulates growth within your jawbone to keep remaining natural teeth secure.
A dental implant could be a great solution for you if you don’t have all your natural teeth, whether you’re missing a single tooth or several teeth. Getting a dental implant requires having enough healthy bone to support the implant, so if your jaw isn’t strong enough, a bone graft or a sinus lift procedure may be necessary before you get a dental implant.
Vibrant Smile Dentistry regularly recommends single implants for people with one missing tooth. You can also use a fixed-implant bridge if you have several teeth missing, and an implant-supported denture/overdenture if you have no teeth in your jaw.
Implant-retained bridges and dentures are often more secure and more comfortable than traditional restorative treatments.
It’s important to maintain strong oral hygiene when you have dental implants, but they don't require special care. Simply brush and floss twice a day, and your dental implant can last for the rest of your lifetime.
You don’t have to live with the embarrassment and discomfort of missing teeth. Talk to the team at Vibrant Smile Dentistry about dental implants for missing tooth replacement. Schedule an appointment online or on the phone today.