Will dental implants affect the adjacent natural teeth?

Dental implants are becoming increasingly popular for tooth replacement. The technology is far superior to other alternatives, like fixed permanent bridges.

One of the major benefits of dental implants is their fit with the natural teeth that remain in the mouth. Dental implants are free-standing, requiring no support from neighboring teeth.

This differs from the fixed permanent bridge, which is another method for replacing a lone missing tooth or filling in a small gap left by a few absent teeth. That technique requires that crowns be placed on adjacent teeth to hold the pontic, or prosthetic tooth, in place.

Because of their need for crowns as part of the appliance, fixed permanent bridges force the dentist to sacrifice healthy enamel from nearby teeth to make room for those crowns.

When an oral surgeon places dental implants, on the other hand, the devices are inserted directly into the jaw and fuse with the bone over time. Therefore, they function independently from the other teeth.

At the same time, it’s easier to care for dental implants due to that structure. Dental implants are not attached to nearby teeth, so patients can floss and brush them just as they do with their natural teeth.

Alternatively, a fixed permanent bridge restricts access to the gumline, and special techniques must be used for brushing and flossing around those appliances.

Dental implants offer additional advantages beyond the preservation of biological tooth material. In fusing with the jaw bone, the dental implant replaces the missing tooth’s root. Although the root is hidden from view, it performs a very important function – it holds the jawbone in place.

If the jawbone begins to erode, which happens when only the crown is replaced, it can reduce the stability of nearby teeth.

Dental implants are more durable than bridges, as well. They become permanent structures in the mouth and can last for decades when cared for properly. In comparison, dental bridges must be replaced every 10 years or so.

Patients who want to replace a tooth while minimizing the impact on neighboring teeth should consider dental implants. Contact Charlottesville Oral Surgery & Dental Implant Center at 434-295-0911 to learn more about the benefits of these devices.

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