Losing a tooth isn’t something you expect to happen. If it’s due to an accident, losing a tooth can feel traumatic. But even tooth loss due to decay or infection can cause uncertainty and decreased self-confidence.
If you find yourself hiding your smile or avoiding your favorite foods because of a missing tooth, it’s time to visit your dentist about dental implants. Considered the gold standard for replacing broken teeth or teeth lost for other reasons, dental implants are a long-term, reliable treatment we offer at Damore Dentistry.
When you visit our dental office about replacing a missing tooth, Dr. Damore will listen to your concerns and ask about your goals and lifestyle. If you’re looking for a permanent way to replace one or more missing teeth, dental implants are definitely an option we’ll explore.
Restoring teeth with dental implants is popular for many good reasons. As a treatment that goes back since the 1950s, dental implants have a proven track record for successful and safe tooth replacement.
Whether you have one missing tooth or many, dental implants can work alone or with dentures and dental bridges to give you stability and better oral health.
A dental implant is a medical-grade titanium "root" that we place below the gums and into the jaw bone. We follow up this relatively minor surgical procedure with a dental crown to give the prosthetic full functionality and a natural appearance.
As the dental implant heals, it fuses with your own jawbone, stimulating new bone growth in the area. As a result, a dental implant not only restores your tooth, but it improves your overall oral health. The implant also prevents other teeth from shifting and will shift when you eat or talk.
Although we always try to save any teeth that are injured or decayed, it is not always possible. If the fracture reaches below the gum line, the tooth is susceptible to infection, decay, or fracturing further.
However, Dr. Damore and our team at Damore Dentistry are experts at tooth replacement for unsalvageable broken teeth. A dental implant is a perfect solution for most people because it actually improves your oral health rather than compromises it.
With dental bridges, the teeth adjacent to the missing tooth must have dental crowns - dental work you need to replace someday. Dental implants do not require making changes to any other teeth, cannot get a cavity, and are easier to clean than dental bridges.
Even if you lost a tooth due to decay or infection, you could likely benefit from a dental implant.
When you visit Damore Dentistry, our top priority is replacing your tooth or teeth with a treatment that blends perfectly with your smile. Dr. Damore will listen to your concerns, answer all your questions, and recommend the treatment that works best for you.
A dental implant consists of a (1) titanium post that mimics your natural tooth roots, (2) an abutment that connects the post to an artificial tooth, and (3) a dental crown (artificial tooth) that matches your other teeth.
Your dental implant process will be outpatient and take place in these stages, usually accomplished in three or four appointments:
We might be able to combine some of these steps, depending on your individual case. From start to finish, most dental implants take about four to six months.
If you’ve just broken a tooth or lost a tooth due to decay or infection, Dr. Damore always recommends replacing it as soon as possible.
Once you lose a tooth, the bone in the jaw begins to reabsorb. This puts other teeth at risk for shifting, which could require orthodontics later on. Replacing one or more missing teeth can also prevent a recessed area in your cheek or jaw, which can contribute to a less youthful appearance. However, even if you’ve had a missing tooth for a while, a dental implant can still help you.
Patients love dental implants as an alternative to dentures or dental bridges because implants don’t shift around or decay. Dental implants actually improve your oral health while providing a natural, long-lasting solution for missing teeth.
When you visit our office, Dr. Damore will evaluate your oral health and review your medical history to ensure you’re a good candidate for dental implants. If so, he will create a comprehensive treatment plan customized for your situation.
Dental implants work best for patients who:
Dental implants work very well for replacing a single tooth, but they also work together with dentures and dental bridges for replacing multiple teeth.
Implant-supported dentures - One of the biggest complaints from denture wearers is that their dentures are loose and move around. Implants solve this common problem by anchoring the denture to the jaw.
After we place two or more dental implants as anchors, the denture snaps securely to the implants, preventing movement and dislodging. Implants dramatically improve comfort, speech, and chewing with dentures. You can still remove the denture for cleaning and sleeping.
Implant-supported bridges - For patients who don't want dentures, we can use dental implants to make a permanent bridge to replace all of the teeth. We place four or more implants, and then we fasten the bridge to the implants. Sometimes we can do this the same day as surgery to avoid going without teeth for months.
The success rate of dental implants is very high, which is one reason our patients love them. If you care for your teeth and gums well, your dental implant “roots” will last 20 years or even a lifetime.
Dr. Damore also uses dental implants with dental crowns, bridges, and dentures. Since these restorations wear down over time, we will check them at your yearly dental exams and let you know when we recommend replacing them.