There is no upside to losing your teeth. Tooth loss adversely affects your bite, and usually means that you have to forego some of the foods you previously enjoyed. It can also lead to bone loss in the jaw. Many people though, find that the most troubling consequence of losing their teeth is that they try to avoid smiling, or even moving their mouth very much, less people see that their teeth are missing.
One of the best solutions to missing teeth is dental implants, and virtually anyone can have implants installed. There are some medical conditions, like diabetes and cancer, that would rule you out as a candidate for implants, but generally speaking, if you are in good health, there is no reason not to consider them. Even if you have significant bone loss in your jaw, bone grafting can make implants possible.
What Are Dental Implants?
Most people tend to think of dental implants as fake teeth that work the same way as natural teeth. This is only partially true. An implant itself is actually a titanium screw that is surgically installed in your jaw. They are used to support dental crowns. So, the implant replaces the root of the tooth, and the crown replaces the visible portion of the tooth.
At Maniscalco Cosmetic & General Dentistry in Birmingham, AL, we offer single tooth and multi-tooth implants, as well as All on 4. Dr. Maniscalco prefers the All on 4 method, because no matter how many teeth you have lost, you need only four implants on either jaw. With traditional implants, you could need up to eight. All on 4 means less surgery, less recovery time, and also less expense.
You may also be considering dentures, and certainly modern dentures have come a long way in terms of fit and appearance. However, dentures will not stop bone loss in your jaw. Dental implants actually encourage bone growth, so you do not have to worry about bone loss causing your face to sag, making you look old before your time. Additionally, because implants are permanently anchored, they will never slip or slide. You will be able to go back to eating the foods you love. You can even chew gum, if you like.
Some people become alarmed by the term “implant surgery.” The fact is though, anything that involves cutting into your mouth is a surgical procedure. Implant surgery is done using a local anesthetic, so you will not feel pain, and you will not have to be unconscious. It is really not much different from having a filling or an extraction. Dr. Maniscalco has been doing implant surgery for years, and he can verify that there is nothing to fear.
Once your implants are installed, your jaw will need to heal. To get you over this period, Dr. Maniscalco will give you a temporary set of dentures. Healing usually takes a few months, and once it is complete, he will install your crowns, and you will enjoy full functionality and a beautiful smile.
All you need to do in order to care for your implants is to brush and floss, the way you did with your natural teeth. You should also visit us regularly for cleanings and checkups. You will not have to worry about your implants decaying, but you still have to make sure that your gums are in good shape. If you should develop gum disease, your implants could fail. Other than that, the only thing that could harm your implants would be something that could damage natural teeth – a blow to the mouth, for example. And even then, the implants themselves will not be harmed, just the crowns, which can be replaced.
To learn more about dental implants and to find out if you are a candidate, contact us at Maniscalco Cosmetic & General Dentistry. We are located at 3419 Colonnade Parkway, Birmingham, AL 35243. You can book an appointment by calling 205-967-9100, or by filling out the form on our Contact Us page. We look forward to hearing from you. For any unanswered questions you might have, refer to our dental implants FAQs or Facts pages.