Dental Implants Wauwatosa, WI
The most common causes of tooth loss are decay and gum disease, but it is also caused by accidents, weak enamel or maybe a tooth has been missing since birth. No matter how it happens, tooth loss can have a significant impact on your life, affecting how you eat, how you speak, your nutrition, and even the health of your mouth. If you lose a tooth, or several teeth, it is important that the edentulous space be filled as soon as possible.
In the past there were essentially two options to replace missing teeth – a denture or a dental bridge. A denture is a custom made prosthesis designed to replace one tooth, several teeth, or all of your teeth. If you are missing a few teeth, a partial denture clasps on to the remaining natural teeth. A denture is an appliance you remove when you brush your teeth, and when you go to bed at night. One problem with dentures is that they move when you chew, plus food particles get underneath them. The result is that the gum tissues can get irritated.
A dental bridge has the advantage of being cemented in place so it doesn’t move. However, one of the drawbacks is that the bridge is anchored on the adjacent teeth, which means those teeth have to be prepared and incorporated into the bridge. Ideally we would prefer to leave those teeth alone.
What is a Dental Implant?
A dental implant is a prosthesis designed to replace a missing tooth. An implant provides more stability than a denture because it is cemented in place. Furthermore, an implant is anchored to the bone, so it doesn’t involve reducing the adjacent teeth like a bridge. Dental implants provide a wonderful new option for replacing missing teeth without the limitations of dentures or bridges.
An implant is a small titanium post that is surgically placed in the bone in a relatively straight-forward procedure. As the bone heals it grows around the implant, essentially locking it into the bone. About 6 months after placement, when the healing is complete, the implant is fully anchored into the bone and is ready to provide rigid support for your new tooth.
Once the healing is complete we take a mold of your implant and send it to the laboratory. They fabricate a custom abutment which is secured to the implant. The final step is to cement a custom crown over the abutment. The crown is designed to match the color, shape and function of the adjacent teeth and the opposing teeth.
Even though this is a ‘false’ tooth, a dental implant looks and feels like a natural tooth, and most people can’t tell it’s not a real!
More recent advances in implant technology allows us to strategically place several implants in the upper and/or lower jaw. After healing we can securely attach a denture to the implants, which is unbelievably good news for people who have struggled for years with dentures. Because full dentures have no natural teeth to clasp onto they are notorious for moving in your mouth when you chew. The result is many people with dentures avoid hard, crunchy or chewy foods. Thanks to implant retained dentures you can now eat foods that you haven’t been able to eat for many years.
If you are missing a tooth, several teeth or all of your teeth, dental implants may offer a perfect solution to replace those teeth. Give us a call at 414-253-1669 for more information and to schedule a confidential consultation.