Fact vs. fiction.
That’s an issue we all have to deal with these days, especially when hearsay and online inaccuracies can often sway decisions, some being very important decisions.
In our Shelby Township dental office, this is always a concern when a patient is contemplating a decision as important as tooth replacement. For all diagnoses and recommendations, we want our communication to be thorough and clear — and based on fact. In this, we try to avoid dental terminology that can confuse or cloud a patient’s understanding of any option. And, we want patients to understand all their options as well as the advantages and complexities associated with each.
When it comes to dental implants, there are so many aspects and choices that can end up being downright confusing. This is why getting accurate, personalized information is best left to a credible, knowledgable source. As a dentist for 25 years and having advanced training in neuromuscular dentistry, I’ve found that many patients have misconceptions when it comes to dental implants. My role is to help to dispel the confusion and incorrect information so each individual understands the realities when it comes to dental implants.
Confusion and misconceptions never surprise me, however. There are over 40 different implant systems, each designed to accommodate various needs and goals. For example, one consideration in determining which type of dental implant is recommended is in the amount of jaw bone mass.
An implant needs a particular amount of bone structure to support it. After several years of missing tooth roots, the bone begins to decline in mass. For people who wear a denture or partial, the pressure of wearing these appliances can actually speed up the rate bone loss.
So, depending on the amount of bone that exists to support the implant(s), the choice of which implant to recommend can be made. Or, we may recommend a bone rebuilding process prior to implant placement. Often, this doesn’t require a bone graft. In many cases, we are able to apply a bone rebuilding material that restores ample bone mass. Or, we may advise an implant system that uses unique implant lengths and placement angles (the “All-On-4”) that can overcome the challenges of bone loss.
There are many considerations in selecting the right type of dental implant. The final choice, of course, is the patient’s preference. Does he or she want an implant that is non-removable (“fixed”)? Is cost the determining factor? Does the patient need just one implant or several? Can one implant support a “bridge” of teeth in one area? And so on.
These are just some of the factors we take into consideration when discussing dental implants with patients. It is in our experienced, skilled hands that we recommend one system over another. What’s online or from opinions of others may create confusion and even dissuade you from pursing this ideal option to replace missing teeth.
This is why it is important to arrange a one-on-one consultation in our Shelby Twp dental office. In our private consultation room, we discuss your unique situation as well as unique needs, such as dental fear or frustrations with wearing a denture or partial. Once we have imaging that shows your bone structure and areas of missing teeth, we can discuss recommended treatment, comfort options and costs.
Dental implants have a reputation for being more expensive than other tooth replacement options (dentures, partials, crown-&-bridge). However, they are actually a bargain when all areas are considered. Dental implants do not rely on the support of neighboring teeth. This means that crowning otherwise healthy, natural teeth is not necessary.
Being implanted into the jaw bone, dental implants also restore stimulation that reduces risks for further bone loss. This means that bone shrinkage ceases and you can avoid the problems associated with resorption. These include an aged facial appearance (such as deep wrinkles around the mouth and formation of jowls), a weakened jaw bone, and the higher risks for continued tooth loss.
Some people also assume that an implant is needed for each missing tooth. That’s not the case for many of our implant patients. The implanted portion of a dental implant can often support two teeth or a bridge of several teeth. When 4 – 8 implants are strategically placed, they may be able to support a full arch of teeth, which often includes non-removable types.
The investment made in dental implants is also a wise one. Dental implants have one of the highest of all success rates of any implant-in-bone procedure (such as hips, knees), up to 98 percent. Made of titanium, this metal successfully bonds with living bone. This means the bone will grow around your implant(s), integrating it into your bone mass to restore dependability and stability.
In our Macomb County dental office, we offer all stages of dental implants – from diagnosis (using the benefits of advanced technology) to placement, to restoration of teeth, to helping you maintain good oral health for a lifetime.
Additionally, we make patient comfort a high priority. I have a long-standing reputation for a gentle touch (as does our entire team) and have successfully helped hundreds of patients overcome their fears and achieve healthy, confident smiles. Additionally, we offer Oral and IV sedation (“twilight sleep”). These are administered with patient safety always a priority. We utilize advanced safety monitoring equipment while patients are attended to by trained staff.
Dental implants are the next best thing to natural teeth. They feel like “real” teeth, look beautiful, and restore a confident, comfortable ability to bite and chew. If you have thought about replacing missing teeth or are frustrated with a denture or partial, call 586-739-2155 or tap here to arrange a free consultation appointment.
When it comes to your smile, be an informed consumer and avoid hype or misguidance. In one visit, I feel we can help you understand how the selection of dentist can be your first step for a successful outcome and a smile you’ll love to share!