Whether you’re missing one tooth or several, you’re probably looking for ways to recomplete your smile. Sure, any dentist can put in a bridge or make you a pair of dentures, but they’ll also tell you the best way to fix those gaps is a dental implant. It may seem like a big investment for a small return, but the reality is that dental implants do a lot more to protect your bone and dental health than just adding a tooth back to your smile.
Before deciding on dental implants, you should understand why Dr. Agarwal recommends them to his patients. Implants act like your natural teeth in almost every way. It supports your bone density and tooth alignment just by being in place. The implant crown is created to line up with the opposing teeth to complete your bite. The entire implant is strong enough to handle the normal forces of chewing food – even tougher meals with things like meat and crunchy foods (carrots, nuts, etc.)
There are different options with implants depending on your needs: One missing tooth is different than a wide gap, or needing to replace a full arch of teeth.
Here are your basic options:
- Single Implant: The easiest way to replace a tooth is to have an implant immediately or soon after the tooth is extracted. The titanium cylinder is placed directly into the jaw, so that the bone will integrate the artificial root quickly. However, many people have single implants done years after the tooth was originally extracted. In these cases, Dr. Agarwal may need to place a bone graft to strengthen the area before implanting the titanium screw. When taking into consideration the time for the bone graft to heal and the time for the jaw to fuse to the implant, it can take up to a year for the full procedure to be complete.
- Multiple Implants: If you have several teeth in a row that have been removed, you may need more than one implant to support an extended bridge (instead of individual implants with a crown on each one.) Depending on the health of your gums, jaw, and adjacent teeth, you may only need two implants total. The implants will support multiple crowns that are bonded together (like a traditional bridge.)
- All-on-4: In some cases, you may need a dental prosthesis for your entire arch, from molar to molar. With four implants precisely placed, Dr. Agarwal can create an entirely new smile for you that looks and feels like real teeth. Unlike dentures, there is no risk of bone loss or slippage during meals or while speaking.
At Raleigh Dental Arts, our patients’ quality of life is important to us. Implants can greatly improve your overall health and comfort. If you’re ready to take the next step into excellent dental care and a confident smile, contact our Raleigh office to schedule your appointment with Dr. Agarwal!