Bridging the gaps with dental implants

Woman ready for her dental implantWith care, your adult teeth should last you a lifetime. Unfortunately for many of us, dental health problems such as gum disease and accidental knocks and damage can result in losing a tooth or teeth. Not only can a lost tooth affect how you look, eat or talk, it can also result in the loss of more teeth in the longer term. Although dentures and bridges do help to restore the appearance and some of the function they have their limitations, over time, both dentures and bridges can become loose or even fail.

If you have had a bridge fitted to replace missing teeth, you will know that the teeth on either side of the missing teeth had to be ground down. This is done so that crowns could be fixed to hold the bridge in place, on the abutment teeth which, unless properly cared for, dental decay can develop under the crowns which can lead to what is known as a failed bridge. If this occurs, many dentists such as PDC Dental in Barnsley may now advise you to have a dental implant fitted, very often on the same day as you have teeth removed.

In the past, dentures or a bridge were the only solutions to tooth loss, and in some cases these are still the best option. However, for most people, dental implants are becoming the gold-standard for tooth replacement. There are a number of good reasons for this: when a dental implant is fitted, it can be used to support a single crown, or a bridge of up to four teeth. Because they become fully integrated into your jaw, they look and function exactly like your own teeth. If you have lost all of your teeth, dental implants can be used to fix a full dental arch using a method called All-On-4 which, as its name suggests uses just four implants to hold the denture in place.

If you have been wearing dentures for some time, you will have experienced some degree of bone loss. In these circumstances, you may need to have zygomatic implants fitted, these help to compensate for the lost bone in the jaw.