Dentures are an affordable solution for missing teeth. However, they have their problems: they move around in the mouth, can be uncomfortable, cause sores, require adhesives and become embarrassing if they fall out in public. Worse than that, they can cause bone loss putting your jaw at risk as a person ages.
Some people don’t wear dentures, but have similar problems: constant pain, gum disease, an endless cycle of cavities, root canals, crowns, and extractions. As teeth are lost, other teeth shift, creating issues with chewing and smiling. Self-esteem decreases, as well as overall health.
Thankfully, dental implants can provide a solution. Improvements with comfort, stability, chewing, self-esteem, and overall health are all reported by people soon after implant treatment is completed.
Treatment options regarding implants can vary greatly: two to six implants can be placed to stabilize a denture, individual implants can be placed to replace missing teeth, or four to six implants can be utilized to provide permanent teeth. This last option is called All-On-Four.
In the All-On-Four option, any remaining teeth are removed, four to six implants are placed, and teeth are attached to the implants. These three steps are typically performed in one appointment, so the patient is able to leave the dental office with teeth the same day. It should be noted that these are temporary teeth: the final teeth will be fabricated approximately four to six months later.
All-On-Four has revolutionized implant dentistry. Although more expensive than dentures, it is less expensive than traditional full-mouth implant reconstruction. Costly and time-consuming grafting can oftentimes be avoided, too. Furthermore, pain levels are significantly decreased.
People sometimes think they are not implant candidates because of their age. This is a misconception. In fact, as a person ages, it becomes more important to be able to eat so that proper nutritional needs are met. Dentures do not provide proper biting force to chew food, plus they weaken the jaw. Implants improve chewing ability, and strengthen the jaw as compared to dentures. A person’s health is a key factor when considering implants, not age.
Who should perform dental implant procedures? Only well-qualified dentists. Seek out dentists who have extensive training in implant dentistry.
Dr. Ira Goldberg is a general dentist performing implant procedures for 22 years. He is a diplomate of the American Board of Oral Implantology / Implant Dentistry, a diplomate of the International Congress of Oral Implantologists, and a fellow of the American Academy of Implant Dentistry. He performs all phases of implant dentistry at his office in Succasunna. and lectures to dentists in the field of implantology. For a free consultation, including a free 3-D scan, if necessary, call 973- 328-1225 or visit www.MorrisCountyDentist.com.