If you have missing teeth, you may be considering restorative treatments such as dental implants, bridges, or dentures. Dental implants are the preferred method to correct missing teeth for more than cosmetic reasons — they actually have several benefits to your oral health. What is it that makes dental implants the best way to restore your smile? Learn from Sterling, VA dentist Dr. Datta Malyavantham and find out why dental implants are the best way to fix missing teeth.
Dental Implants and Dental Bridges
A dental implant is a precisely designed, milled and treated piece of titanium that fits into your jawbone to replace a missing root. Once this has integrated into the jawbone, an abutment made of titanium or a biocompatible porcelain is fitted into the implant, replacing the body of the missing tooth. Multiple implants can be installed to replace several missing teeth.
A dental bridge is also a procedure used to replace missing teeth. In this procedure, the teeth on either side of the missing tooth are drilled down and a bridge is placed on top of the teeth to literally “bridge the gap” between the remaining teeth.
Dental Implants Are More Effective Than Dental Bridges
Dental implant technology has been around for 40 years, but only in the last 15 to 20 years has the procedure become more popular and accepted by dentists and patients. Today, dental implants are widely accepted as the best way to replace missing teeth.
A dental implant can be a substitute for a single missing tooth. Multiple dental implants can replace all teeth in the upper or lower arch. The implant stays in the mouth; it is not removed like a partial or denture. As a standalone restoration, it differs from a bridge in that an implant does not require drilling on the adjacent teeth. Implants are maintained with the same good, regular oral hygiene as regular teeth.
In contrast, dental bridges require more scrupulous maintenance to keep the underlying bone from decaying. Bridges do not allow you to floss or brush as you normally would, and a more complicated oral hygiene routine puts patients at a higher risk of tooth decay. Bridges do not last as long as implants, which can last a lifetime because they are fully integrated into the jawbone.
Another important advantage of dental implants is that, when placed into the bone, they prevent bone deterioration or loss. They help your body retain existing jawbone that would otherwise be lost, like with a dental bridge. When a tooth is removed and you do not get a socket graft or an implant, you lose 30% of your bone around your lost tooth in the first year and bone loss continues each year afterward. In no time, you are out of bone to support an implant.
Replace Missing Teeth in Northern Virginia
Dr. Datta Malyavantham is an experienced Dental Implant surgeon and cosmetic dentist of Northern Virginia and Washington DC Metro area and is a member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, International Congress of Oral Implantologists, and American Academy of Implant Dentistry. Ridgetop Dental, Dr. Datta’s practice in Northern Virginia, is focused on the long term maintenance of a comfortable, functional smile that provides confidence and the best possible quality of life. Schedule your free consultation online to start restoring your smile and confidence today.