Why Dental Implants Are the Best Choice for Replacing Missing Teeth

If you’re missing one or more teeth, you have a number of options to replace them. You can get a dental bridge, which is anchored to the teeth or dental crowns on either side of the gap; you can get a partial denture, where resin “teeth” are welded to a metal plate you can slip in and out of your mouth, as needed; or, if you’re missing all your teeth, you can get dentures, artificial teeth attached to an acrylic base that spans the entire arch and can be removed for cleaning.

Dr. Michael Nichols and our team at Oral & Facial Surgery of Mississippi, though, believe the best choice for replacing teeth — whether one or a whole arch — is dental implants, which are placed directly into the jaw during guided surgery. 

We only use quality implants from renowned brands like Nobel Biocare® and Zimmer Biomet®, ensuring they can preserve your jawbone while making it feel natural to bite and chew. Here’s what you need to know.

Missing teeth affect your oral health

Missing teeth are a key risk factor for poor oral health, and research shows the risk increases with each additional missing tooth. Some dental issues include:

Dental implant advantages

While partial or full conventional dentures provide an easy and relatively inexpensive choice to replace missing teeth, their biggest drawback is they replace just the crowns of your teeth, not the roots. This presents a couple of problems.

First, roots firmly anchored in the jawbone are what hold your teeth in place. Since dentures have no roots, the plate or arch is prone to slipping and clicking whenever you talk or eat, even if you use a dental anchor or adhesive.

Second, the bone needs stimulation from bite-created pressure on the teeth to retain its mass. Dentures don’t provide that pressure, which means you lose vital bone tissue over time. It changes the shape of your jaw and the gums your denture plates fit over.

Dental implants, however, which contain a metal rod implanted in your bone, behave just like your natural teeth. That includes providing the bite pressure necessary for maintaining healthy bone tissue, while also providing a solid anchor for the placement of dental crowns.

The implant process

The implant process takes place over two separate appointments. In the first, Dr. Nichols secures a small, biocompatible, titanium or zirconia post, inside the bone socket of the missing tooth. Over the next few months, the jaw heals around the post, firmly and permanently anchoring it. During this time you wear a temporary crown to fill the gap.

The second appointment takes place once the jaw has healed. Dr. Nichols attaches a small connector post — called an abutment — to the metal root. Its job is to support the dental crown or removable artificial tooth that will rest above it. Ready then for the final step, your general dentist places the crown atop the abutment.

Because the implant is secured within the bone, it looks and functions the way your natural teeth do. And as long as you brush and floss regularly, the implants should last you a lifetime.

All-on-4® implants

If you’re replacing most or all of your teeth, implanting the teeth one-by-one can be a time-consuming and costly endeavor. The All-on-4 implants provide a more cost-effective option.

To replace a full arch, all you need is four metal posts, which can support all the replacement teeth. Not only do you have less pain, but you also have a quicker recovery and a lower risk of complications.

The All-on-4 option allows for snaps between the plate, and the implants to lock them into place. That means there’s no slipping or clicking of the teeth that would compromise both speech and chewing.

If you have missing teeth and are looking for a permanent but natural way of replacing them, dental implants are the way to go. To learn more, or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Nichols, call Oral & Facial Surgery of Mississippi in Flowood at 601-282-9290 to book your appointment today. We can make you want to smile again.

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