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The loss of teeth can be devastating. We place so much value on our teeth, and they serve so many functions. They allow us to eat, chew, speak coherently, and so much more. Even if your teeth don’t serve immediate cosmetic functions, i.e., if they’re located at the back, they serve other functions. You need the back teeth for optimal bite force, allowing you to bite and chew hard objects and foods like steak. The loss of even one tooth can have devastating long-term complications because it leads to the resorption of the underlying jawbone, and the surrounding teeth can shift out of place, leading to misalignment problems.
Depending on the number of teeth you’re missing and your preferences, you have several attractive and cost-effective teeth replacement options in Houston — dental bridges, partial dentures, complete dentures, and dental implants.
A dental bridge is a series of fake teeth, known as pontics, supported on either side by dental crowns. If you’re missing three teeth, the dental bridge will consist of three pontics and crowns on either side. The dental implant specialist will shave enamel off the surrounding teeth to attach the dental crowns, and the fake teeth will replace the missing teeth. This structure is ideal for those seeking a stable, firm replacement for missing teeth without undergoing surgery. You can only replace a series of three or four missing teeth with one bridge. However, a dental bridge won’t support the underlying jawbone, so you will still experience jawbone loss over time.
A denture is a full or partial set of prosthetic teeth with a gum-colored base. The denture is attached to your gums using dental adhesives, so they provide the external impression of complete teeth. You can get partial or complete dentures, depending on the number of missing teeth. If you’re missing all of your teeth, you can get a complete denture that replaces an entire arch of missing teeth. If you’re missing only some of your teeth, you can get a partial denture with prosthetic teeth in the strategic locations of the missing teeth — the denture is clasped onto the back of the healthy teeth for support. Dentures can slip or slide out of place, and they don’t look, feel, or function naturally.
Dental implants are titanium screws that are drilled into the jawbone underneath the socket of the missing teeth. These are widely considered the best replacements for missing teeth because they offer the appearance and functionality of natural teeth. The titanium screw replaces the root structure of the missing tooth, making it different from all other teeth replacement options — all other teeth replacement options focus exclusively on the crown. Over time, the jawbone tissues heal around the implant via a process known as osseointegration, making the implant a firmly attached part of your dental anatomy. After the healing process, the dental implant can be loaded with crowns, bridges, or dentures — the results are indistinguishable from natural teeth.
What Are The Advantages Of Dental Implants?
- Natural Appearance: Dental implants look indistinguishable from natural teeth once they’re loaded with dental crowns, bridges, or dentures. The dental implant dentist must provide natural-looking restorations that resemble the surrounding teeth.
- Complete Functionality: Dental implants allow you to eat and speak as you do with natural teeth. That’s because dental implants restore complete bite force, so they resemble the functionality of natural teeth.
- Minimal Maintenance: You don’t need to do anything special to maintain dental implants. You have to brush and floss your teeth, as you normally do. You must also go for regular dental cleanings with the dentist. There’s no additional maintenance required.
- Support Jawbone: When you lose a tooth, the underlying jawbone gradually starts disintegrating, leading to the resorption of bone tissues. This can eventually lead to facial sagging and dental misalignment. Dental implants support the jawbone, thus preventing atrophy, which, in turn, makes you look younger and healthier.
Who Is A Good Candidate For Dental Implants?
Dental implants are the ideal teeth replacement options for patients missing one, several, or even all of their teeth. You can also get dental implants if you’re wearing dentures — implants are far more effective than dentures. However, you should have sufficient jawbone tissues to receive dental implants. If you’re suffering from jawbone resorption and don’t have enough jawbone, the dental implant doctor may recommend a bone augmentation procedure before the dental implant surgery. Bone grafting will facilitate natural jawbone regeneration, which will improve your dental implant candidacy.
What Are Full-Mouth Dental Implants?
Full mouth dental implants are ideal for edentulous patients, i.e., patients missing all teeth on the upper or lower arch. With traditional crown-supported implants, you need one implant for every missing tooth. That’s why dental implants haven’t always been used for full mouth restoration — too many dental implants are necessary to replace all teeth. However, thanks to the latest technological advancements, we can now replace a full arch of missing teeth using only four or six strategically-placed implants. The All-on-4 technique allows us to place four implants in strategic positions on your jawbone to support a complete denture, i.e., full mouth dental implants.
How Much Do Implants Cost, And Does Insurance Cover The Cost?
The cost of dental implants depends on various factors, including the type of implant, the location of the missing tooth, the number of implants necessary, the type of restoration, whether you need preliminary procedures and bone grafting, the anesthesia used, and much more. Whether insurance covers the cost of dental implants depends on your specific insurance plan. Please contact our dental implant center for a consultation, following which we’ll provide a complete overview of your dental implants cost.
Do Dental Implants Last?
Yes, dental implants are meant to last a lifetime. You may have to replace the restoration (crown, bridge, or denture) after 15 to 20 years, but the underlying dental implant should last a lifetime with proper care and maintenance.
Schedule An Appointment For Affordable Dental Implants
URBN Dental is a state-of-the-art dental center in Houston, specializing in affordable dental implants. The dental implant center is located at 2400 Mid Ln. #350, Houston, just between the shopping centers of River Oaks District and Highland Village. If you’re missing one, several, or all of your missing teeth, please schedule an appointment online or call 346-570-0826.