At Smiles by Bigelow, we believe dental implants are the ideal solution for missing teeth. While conventional bridges and dentures are still viable options, implants provide patients with superior esthetics, functionality, durability, and longevity! However, restorative dentistry is imperative for patients missing one or more teeth, no matter what appliance you choose.
The Importance of Restorative Dentistry
On top of the obvious disadvantages, missing teeth can create a whole host of additional problems for your oral health. For instance, a single missing tooth can drastically affect your bite and the appearance of your smile. The teeth surrounding the open space in your gums will likely shift out of their proper positions, resulting in a malocclusion (misaligned bite) or a crooked smile.
Perhaps more importantly, when you lose a tooth, you lose the root of the tooth, which stimulates the jawbone. This physical stimulation helps keep your bone healthy and strong enough to support your teeth. Over time, a missing tooth can cause bone deterioration or atrophy.
A dental implant serves as the root element of a prosthetic tooth. In other words, your restoration will stimulate the jawbone and prevent deterioration. It also keeps your remaining teeth from shifting out of alignment.
Single-Tooth Dental Implant
A single-tooth implant restoration consists of three parts: the screw, the abutment, and the dental crown. The implant screw serves as the root component of the crown. The two parts are linked together by the abutment, which provides additional support for the crown as well.
The single-tooth implant process is usually broken up into multiple appointments. First, we place the implant screw underneath the gum tissue and into the jawbone during a minor surgical procedure. Once the implant is in place, your first surgery (and appointment) is complete.
Over the next several months, a process known as osseointegration should take place. During osseointegration, your jawbone and the implant form a powerful bond, one capable of supporting your crown against the most immense pressures of your bite.
Once osseointegration is complete, we can move forward with the next part of treatment. During a second, relatively-minor surgery, Tod A. Bigelow, DDS, PLLC reopens the gums and attaches the abutment to the head of the implant screw. Next, we take an impression of the area.
We use this impression to fabricate your final ceramic crown. Because the fabrication process can take several weeks, we may install a temporary restoration in the meantime. Once your final crown is ready, we can schedule your last appointment, and place your new tooth!
Patients missing all or most of their teeth in a single arch may qualify for All-on-4. All-on-4 is a custom-designed fixed complete bridge, usually made from porcelain or zirconia. As the name suggests, this full-arch appliance only requires four implants, much less than alternatives that require upwards of eight!
Tod A. Bigelow, DDS, PLLC will place all four implants during a single surgery. The reduced number of implants eliminates the need for preliminary bone grafting, and also allows us to immediately load a temporary restoration. Many of our patients are attracted to the idea of receiving a new set of teeth in a single day!
All-on-4 is also far superior to conventional alternatives such as removable dentures. Because the bridge is permanently fixed, your new smile should look, act, and feel just like your natural teeth. Be sure to ask questions during your initial consultation to learn more about the benefits of All-on-4.
Schedule a Consultation Appointment
You, too, could benefit from dental implants if you are missing one or more teeth! Call (601) 255-2599 to schedule a consultation appointment!