Dental implants are providing a more reliable and effective alternative to traditional dentures and helping people to successfully replace their decaying or lost single or multiple teeth. When we start to lose multiple teeth, in the upper row or lower row or both, it becomes necessary for us to replace those missing teeth with stable and natural looking teeth. Otherwise, we may have to suffer from the discomfort and embarrassment associated with dentures and bone loss and a disfigured facial structure. The multiple dental implant method is bringing a permanent solution to multiple tooth loss conditions and creating smiles again!

Dental implants are now providing basic treatment to all those who are missing one or more of their teeth in the upper and \ or lower jaw. However, not all dentists are professionally trained in dental implant procedures. So they recommend fixed bridges or removable partial dentures with wire clasps that wrap around your remaining teeth to keep them in.

Fixed dental bridges require grinding down healthy adjacent teeth so they can be used as anchors to support the missing teeth. They are a dramatic improvement over removable partials with their wire clasps but in the long run more than 30% of the teeth used for attachments are lost to tooth decay or other problems. Now where one tooth was missing there are two, and then three and-----------and the process continues to repeat itself more and more rapidly until your smile is disfigured, you can no longer eat the foods you enjoy, and your facial structure is collapsing. Soon you are looking at the need to replace your teeth with full dentures or dental implants.

Why let this happen? If you are missing one or a few teeth have them replaced with dental implants immediately. Not only will they not harm your natural teeth they will help them by eliminating food impaction and distributing the work load of chewing more evenly. People often believe that you need a dental implant for every missing tooth. That isn’t necessarily true. Often three missing teeth can be replaced with only 2 implants by bridging between them. In the amazing All on 4 protocol a full arch of missing teeth can be replace with only 4 perfectly placed implants.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!
 
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1. What is a dental implant?

A dental implant is an independent artificial tooth root that is used to replace a natural tooth root that has been lost to accident or disease. Dental implants are typically placed to secure bridges, partials, dentures and crowns. Dental Implants don’t require support from adjacent teeth and thus cause them no harm. Better yet, teeth replaced with dental implants look, function, and feel just like natural teeth.

2. Will dental implants be suitable for me?

Advancements in dental implant design and placement protocols have made dental implants the gold standard for the replacement of missing teeth for almost everyone. Patients with specific health conditions including uncontrolled diabetes, osteoporosis, or irradiation of the mandible or maxilla for the treatment of cancer, may be at increased risk but they are still candidates and can usually be managed by a highly experienced practitioner. Certain cosmetic conditions can be a challenge as well but advancements in cosmetic dental implant procedures routinely produce beautiful, natural, esthetic results that patients often describe as far more beautiful than their natural teeth ever where. One of the most difficult conditions to overcome is actually a habit or an addiction rather than a condition; cigarette smoking. This is an annoyingly difficult addiction to overcome and many wonderful people who have extraordinary will power and a strong desire to quit simply can’t. That is unfortunate because as smoking is a strong contributing factor to tooth loss, smokers form a disproportionate number of those in need of dental implants. The majority of the patients I see for the All on 4 procedure are smokers. So though smoking is not a contraindication the patient and doctor must realize that they will be faced with a higher than normal number of complications. Fortunately if the doctor is highly experienced and the patient is persistent, cooperative, and determined a satisfactory outcome can almost always be achieved.

3. What are the benefits of implants over other dental procedures?
 
•    Dental implants are permanently fixed and thus the teeth attached to them will not slip or move insuring comfort and avoiding embarrassing moments.
•    Dental implants are easily maintained and are not susceptible to cavities.
•    Dental implants allow you to eat all of the foods you enjoyed with natural teeth.
•    Dental implants look like natural teeth providing a beautiful smile so you don’t have to live with the stigma and embarrassment associated with missing teeth or false teeth.
•    Dental implants promote bone growth and help maintain a youthful facial structure..

4. How comfortable are dental implants?

Dental implants are amazingly comfortable. Most patients are given nsaids such as Ibuprofen and methyl prednisone and report little or no discomfort. All on 4 patients can usually enjoy a light meal the evening after their surgery and most return to work in a day or two.

5. Who is authorized to perform dental implants?

Dental implants can be placed by any licensed dentist but very few offer this service. Significant additional training is required to place or restore dental implants. To provide both the surgical and prosthetic phases of dental implantology the demands for additional training is even greater but the benefits to the patient are substantial. Advanced dental implant procedures such as bone grafting and especially full mouth reconstruction with the All on 4 protocol or traditional protocol requires years of training and extensive experience. In choosing an implantologist you should look for a doctor who has additional post graduate training, has certification by the American Academy of Implantology or the International Congress of Oral Implantologist, has cat scan imaging technology , an in office dental laboratory, and extensive experience. Offices like this are very rare but it is worth your effort to find one.

6. Are dental implants easy to maintain?

You need to care for dental implants the same way you would your natural teeth. It is always recommended that patients meet with their dentist regularly and maintain proper dental hygiene to  insure long term satisfaction with dental implants.