Tooth loss for any reason can be embarrassing, but you might be surprised to know how common it is. It is estimated that as many as 120 million Americans are missing at least one tooth!
Our job at the office of Jeffrey J. Tibbs, DDS, is to help you find the tooth replacement that fits your needs. Dental implants are the ultimate solution because they look, feel, and function exactly as a natural tooth does.
A dental implant is a replacement root that is made of titanium and surgically placed in your jaw. Titanium is a biocompatible material, meaning that it is readily accepted by the body. As the site heals, surrounding bone and tissue grow around the implant and form a permanent bond.
Next, we attach a connector piece to the implant, which is called an abutment. The abutment is used to complete the implant by holding a restoration firmly in place. A restoration for an implant may be a single crown, a bridge, or full or partial dentures.
Implants are considered the gold standard for tooth replacement because they are the option that functions the most like a natural tooth. This is important because your jaw and your teeth depend on each other for optimal function. When a natural tooth root is present, it stimulates the healthy growth of the surrounding bone and tissue that hold the tooth firmly in place.
But when a tooth and its root are lost, this growth comes to a halt, and the bone gradually resorbs (reabsorbs) back into the body. As the bone shrinks, the gums recede. During the first year after tooth loss, approximately 25% of bone is lost.
A restoration like a bridge or a denture fills the visible space, but they don’t help stimulate bone growth. On the other hand, a biocompatible implant continues the process and supports a restoration just as a natural tooth root would.
Implants also look and function just like a natural tooth. Dr. Tibbs uses high-quality materials to create esthetic restorations that are durable and indistinguishable from your natural teeth. Best of all, your implant is permanent, and as long as you keep your teeth and gums healthy, it should serve you for the rest of your life. Keep in mind, though, that your restoration may need to be replaced in the future.
As you can see, implants are pretty impressive! If you are considering tooth replacement, we invite you to call our office to arrange a commitment-free consultation with Dr. Tibbs. Many people are unfamiliar with implants, so he will be happy to explain the process, answer your questions, and help you decide if a dental implant is the most appropriate choice for you.