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Lost One Or More Teeth? Advice From A New Teeth Implants Surgeon, Part 2
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Welcome to the second installment of our four-part article series in which we speak to an experienced dental implants surgeon in New Jersey about replacing missing teeth. We ended off Part 1 talking about tooth-supported bridges and how they compare to new teeth implants. We’ve only just begun picking the brain of this dental specialist, so without further ado, let’s continue!
Just to sum up everything we’ve been discussing, would you say that you recommend dental implants over tooth-supported bridges?
“If the patient is the right candidate for dental implants, then yes… I would say that in most cases, dental implants are the preferred method for teeth replacement because the crowns they support tend to look, feel and function more like natural teeth than conventional bridges do.”
Okay, so now would be the perfect time for you to explain to us just what new teeth implants are and how they work…
“Absolutely. Dental implants are like tiny screws that are made from medical grade titanium metal,” explains the dental implants surgeon in New Jersey. “They are surgically placed in the bone at the site of the missing tooth and they provide fixed support for a replacement ceramic tooth crown or, if a patient is having multiple teeth or even their entire dental arch replaced, a fixed bridge.”
So the dental implant itself is not actually the tooth people will see when you smile?
“That is correct. A dental implant is supposed to sit beneath the gum line, just like a natural tooth root. The implant is what anchors the replacement tooth crown in the mouth.”
I must be honest. The word “surgery” does make dental implants sound scary. Does this tend to ward patients off having implants placed and choose conventional bridges instead?
“Actually no. It’s not the concept of surgery that tends to deter patients because we’ve just about perfected the art of painless procedures. Even if you come in to have all of your teeth replaced, we can almost always do the entire procedure in a single sitting and have you leave the dental implant facility in the evening with a brand new set of teeth,” explains the New Jersey dental implants surgeon.
“The most prevalent reason patients opt for more convention teeth replacement technologies, such as tooth-supported bridges, is because implants tend to be pricey and dental insurance companies don’t offer any coverage for them.”
If, as you say, dental implants are the more sophisticated teeth replacement technology on the market, why wouldn’t dental insurance companies offer some kind of relief for patients who need new teeth implants?
“Your guess is as good as mine. Getting new teeth implants is often still regarded as an “elective” procedure. I’m not sure any dentist truly agrees with this because implants tend to last longer and offer patients greater health benefits than conventional fixed bridges or something removable.”
What health benefits are you referring to?
“Well for one, dental implants don’t require the neighboring healthy teeth to be ground down for support. Instead, implants are supported entirely by the underlying jawbone, just like natural teeth. Additionally, and this is important, dental implants replace the entire tooth structure and not just the crown as is the case with conventional bridges and dentures. The roots of the teeth transmit the forces associated with eating into the jawbone, which helps to stimulate it and keep it healthy, thus preventing atrophy. This is a very important benefit because atrophy causes the jawbone to waste away, which not only compromises the health of the neighboring teeth, but can also lead to premature aging.”
Stay Tuned for Part 3
Stay tuned for the third installment of this four-part article series for more advice from our resident dental implants surgeon in New Jersey!
About the Author
Gina Butler is a science writer who regularly works with well-known oral surgeons, prosthodontists and dental implant surgeons in New Jersey. With their help and expertise, she delivers the latest news and information on dental science to the public.
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