If you have a missing tooth, there is only one replacement option that approximates the real thing: a dental implant. It looks like your real tooth. It feels like your real tooth. And it functions like your real tooth, restoring the full strength of your bite.
At Uptown Dental Associates of Albuquerque, NM, we have implant options for restoring single or multiple teeth. If you are tired of hiding the gaps in your grin and want your smile and your confidence back, call our office at 505-407-8781.
A Root Replacement
Traditional tooth restorations sit on top of the gums, so they function much differently than natural teeth (and are much less stable). Dental implants, on the other hand, are artificial tooth roots made of titanium that are surgically inserted into the jawbone. As the bone heals, it grows around the replacement root, locking it securely and permanently into place. After this process is completed and you are healed from the initial surgery, we will attach a connector post, or abutment, and a restoration.
Single Tooth Replacement
If you have a single missing tooth, you may get an individual dental implant. Single implants are typically topped with a crown. This procedure has a number of advantages over the alternative, a dental bridge.
- A conventional bridge is supported by the adjacent healthy teeth, which must be filed down and topped with crowns. Titanium dental implants require no alteration of the adjoining teeth.
- Your new titanium implant fuses with your jawbone, so it is as strong and stable as natural teeth. You will have your full bite force restored. It also promotes bone health, preventing the jaw deterioration that often happens with traditional bridges.
- Your titanium replacement root is permanent and designed to last a lifetime. The alternatives are more likely to need replacement.
- You will look fantastic. No other tooth replacement looks more natural.
Options for Multiple Missing Teeth
If you have more than one missing tooth in need of replacement, Uptown Dental Associates has several options for you.
- If you have a few adjacent teeth missing from your smile, we can place a fixed dental bridge atop your titanium artificial tooth root. This bridge stays on its own and does not require adjoining teeth to be altered or topped with a crown.
- Implant-retained and implant-supported dentures replace a full arch of missing teeth using just a few strategically placed titanium implants.
Bridges and dentures supported by implants are far more stable in the mouth than their conventional counterparts. Plus:
- They restore your full biting force and prevent jawbone deterioration.
- Your confidence will go through the roof — no worrying about your restoration slipping, sliding, or falling out of your mouth.
- Unlike traditional dentures, they do not cover the roof of the mouth, so your sense of smell and taste will not be diminished.
- Because their structure mimics natural teeth, they are comfortable to wear. You may forget they are not your real teeth!
- They will not inhibit your ability to speak clearly, unlike some dentures.
- You don’t have to limit your diet as you do with dentures. You can eat what you would with your real teeth in place.
- You don’t have to use messy dental adhesives.
If you are interested in replacing your missing tooth or teeth with implant dentistry, we will conduct a thorough examination of your jaw and mouth, including X-rays. Your bone must be thick and strong in order to support the titanium post. If it’s not, we may be able to prepare your jaw with bone graft surgery.
Once your mouth is in good condition, we will create a customized treatment plan.
The first procedure involves inserting the replacement tooth roots into your jawbone. You will have to wait for the process of osseointegration (fusing of the titanium post to the bone) to occur as you heal. Several weeks or months later, you will have to return to our office to have the abutment and custom-made restoration placed.
To ensure you are completely comfortable from start to finish, we offer local anesthesia plus three levels of dental sedation: nitrous oxide, oral sedation, and IV sedation. We have blankets and pillows to keep you warm and cozy in the dentist’s chair, and headphones so you can relax with music. Our staff members are knowledgeable, calm, and skilled at explaining procedures clearly and comprehensively.