If you have missing teeth, dental implants are an ideal solution. Unlike removable dentures, dental implants are rooted in the jawbone and have the strength and support of a natural tooth. Dr. Hal Stewart, a system based and reconstructive dentist practicing in the Flower Mound area, is a top dental implant dentist. He has put together an incredible team to offer the very best and latest technologies in implant dentistry. He can provide a range of solutions for patients with missing teeth – even patients that have suffered deterioration of the jaw or severe facial collapse.
What are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are medical-grade titanium rods that are surgically inserted into the patient’s jaw by an oral surgeon. Placed at the site of a missing tooth, they will gradually bond to the surrounding bone tissue and form a strong replacement tooth root.
Once the titanium root has been placed and the surgical area healed, a custom-designed porcelain crown is placed to cover the visible portion of the rod to form an artificial tooth that looks, feels, and functions just like a normal tooth.
As a skilled implant dentist, Dr. Stewart and his surgeon, Dr. Richard Martine, provide a number of implant treatment options. Implants can be used to replace individual teeth, or, in some cases, implants can be used to anchor two or more artificial teeth. (These are commonly known as implant overdentures.)
Dental Implants versus Dentures and Bridges
Dental implants are a superior solution for replacing missing teeth because, unlike dentures and bridges, they are rooted in the patient’s jaw, which provides a stronger base of support for biting and chewing and also helps preserve the patient’s bone and facial structure.
Research has shown that most denture wearers are unhappy with the fit of their dentures. Dentures often tend to slide or slip, making it difficult for the person to eat or talk normally. Bridges are also prone to breakage and can also make eating certain foods difficult.
When a tooth is lost at the root, the jawbone begins to recede at that point and the calcium and other minerals in the bony tissue resorbed for use elsewhere in the body. Without a root in place to signal that the bone is needed at that point, the jaw begins to deteriorate.
Over time, this process will mean that a patient’s dentures will no longer fit and will need replacement. When this deterioration reaches severe levels, it results in a condition known as facial collapse. Patients with severe facial collapse are often unable to wear any dentures at all, with devastating consequences for both the person’s appearance and overall health.
Caring for Dental Implants
Once placed, dental implants are not difficult to care for and maintain. These teeth should be brushed and flossed and receive regular professional cleanings in the same way that one’s natural teeth would. However, special care should be taken to see a dental office experienced in caring for ceramic (porcelain) dental restorations as some cleaning tools used by general dentists may scratch the glaze on the artificial teeth and leave them vulnerable to staining.