You only have one set of adult teeth, which is why a missing tooth presents such a problem. The cost of replacing it can be intimidating, which sets many people off expensive options like implants. However, unlike other replacements, dental implants are permanent and almost indistinguishable from your natural teeth, making them the most worthwhile investment.
At the Washington, DC, dental practice of Margaret Culotta-Norton, DDS, PC, Dr. Culotta-Norton and Dr. Peter Grinc provide information and guidance regarding dental implants, referrals to a dental implant surgeon if needed, and beautiful restorations to complete your smile.
Your teeth replacement options
Generally speaking, you have three options when it comes to tooth replacement.
Bridges can temporarily fill the gap between two teeth, but they require at least one abutment tooth to serve as an anchor. The false tooth is held in place by dental crowns or metal framework, allowing you to chew and speak easier.
While dental bridges pass for natural teeth and have many of the benefits, they don’t last forever. Bridges typically last 5-7 years, though some people are able to maintain them for 10 with good oral hygiene.
Dentures have come a long way from their primitive prototypes, making them the most practical and affordable option for those with extensive tooth loss.
Modern dentures are made using an acrylic base fitted with porcelain or resin teeth. Depending on your needs, the dentures will be customized to fit over existing teeth and provide surface-level replacements for the ones that you’ve lost.
Where dentures and bridges can only replace missing teeth on the surface, dental implants can replace them at the root. Not only does this make them feel and function like normal teeth, but it also helps prevent further tooth loss.
5 reasons dental implants are the best tooth replacement choice
There are plenty of situations where the expensive option isn’t necessarily the best, but you only have one set of teeth, and only one jawbone.
One of the biggest problems regarding tooth loss is that the more teeth you lose, the more unstable the rest of them become. This is because of bone erosion, or bone resorption. Without the roots of your tooth, there is nothing left to stimulate the jawbone.
Over time, the bone around the missing tooth slowly dissolves, causing the surrounding teeth to grow loose and fall out. Dental implants prevent this by filling the hole with a new, titanium root.
The rooting process is what sets dental implants apart from other replacement options. Keeping that in mind, here are five reasons dental implants are the superior choice:
- Implants stimulate the jawbone, preventing further bone and tooth loss
- Dental implant restorations can last much, much longer than bridges or veneers
- Implants look, feel, and work just like natural teeth, making it easier to eat and speak
- The titanium post is biocompatible, with a low rate of rejection when implanted properly
- Dental implants don’t require a hygiene routine different to your natural teeth
Deciding which is best for you
Dental implants aren’t for everyone. The ideal candidate for dental implants is someone healthy enough to undergo the procedure, with enough jawbone left to support the implant. If you don’t have enough bone, you might benefit from bone grafting.
The entire process might take six months to a year, but you’ll be left with a near-perfect replacement of your original tooth. If you’ve been missing teeth for a long time, you might need bone grafts before the implant process. This can increase the cost and recovery time significantly.
During your consultation, Dr. Margaret Culotta-Norton evaluates your remaining teeth and bone density before going over your options with you. To schedule a consultation, get in touch with Margaret Culotta-Norton, DDS, PC, by calling 202-833-1111, or request an appointment online.