If you’re missing one or more teeth, dental implants are a great tooth replacement option to consider. Single tooth implants often look and feel like the real thing. If you have areas where there are several missing teeth, implant bridges or implant-retained dentures can provide stability and restore chewing power.
Amazing Dental Implants
For a single missing tooth, the implant is placed into the jawbone to replace the root of the tooth and then a crown is anchored to the implant to restore the tooth. Dr. Hartfield uses the services of a local Belleville gum and bone specialist (a periodontist) or an oral surgeon to place the “below ground” part of the implant, which looks similar to a screw.
Once it heals into place and the bone has locked into the threads of the implant, Dr. Hartfield then does the “above ground” part of the implant to create a crown to attach to the implant and replace the missing tooth. Since you can floss and maintain the implant as you would a normal tooth, this is the best and the most natural-feeling replacement for a single missing tooth.
Implant-Supported Bridges and Dentures
For areas where there are several missing teeth in a row, implants can be used to support bridges or dentures. When you have empty spaces but still have some of your natural teeth, implants and implant bridges can eliminate the need to wear a partial removable denture. Most patients find it much more comfortable to have replacement teeth fixed into place rather than have to wear a denture that has to be removed on a daily basis.
When full dentures are needed, implants can provide a sturdy anchor for the denture to attach to, giving the denture increased stability and better retention. This is extremely beneficial for lower dentures, which can often drift and float when there is little natural bone to support them. Implant-retained dentures can be snapped onto the implant heads, clipped onto bars attached to the implant, or even screwed into place. Dr. Hartfield and the specialists she uses can evaluate you and determine the best option for you.
Dental Implant Benefits
- More conservative – Implants replace single missing teeth without having to cut down the adjacent teeth (which is needed when a bridge is used to replace teeth).
- More stable – Dentures can be screwed or snapped onto the implants so they are more secure.
- Easier to maintain – Implants don’t decay, and it’s easier to clean around a single implant than to floss under a bridge.
- Preserve bone – Implants help keep the bone from shrinking away as it does when teeth are extracted and the roots are no longer there.
Please Contact Us for More Information
If you are interested in implants or want to know more about them, call Dr. Hartfield’s office at (618) 234-7100 for an appointment. We will be happy to discuss your treatment options with you.