In this second of a four-part article series, we speak to an experienced Colorado Springs dentist about dental implants, what they are, how they work and what patients can expect from getting them.
Welcome to the second installment of this four-part article series in which we speak to an experienced dental implant dentist in Colorado Springs about the virtues of this cutting-edge teeth replacement technology. Previously, in Part 1, it was explained what dental implants are, how it is they become non-removable once surgically placed and what kind of cases they can be used to treat.
We concluded Part 1 with the revelation that today’s dental implant procedures have become far more cost effective than those of yesteryear. Before we delve deeper into that issue, however, let’s take a look at how dental implants compare with alternative teeth replacement technologies.
Many dental patients are understandably concerned about cost. When it comes to replacing missing teeth, what options can you provide patients with and which are the cheapest?
Understandably, yes. We do offer patients a variety of tooth replacement options, depending upon their specific case. Generally speaking, porcelain bridges are the least costly. We do, however, recommend dental implants to our patients because they typically work out to be more cost effective in the long run. Dental implants don’t usually require any professional maintenance once placed and they are substantially more comfortable. They can also last at least three times longer, while bridges can require replacement after 12 years. So, while dental implants may constitute a greater initial investment, they pay off in the long run.
What are traditional bridges?
A traditional bridge is really just a device – usually made of porcelain and other composite materials – that is used to replace one or more missing teeth. It makes use of the neighboring healthy teeth for support and provides the patient with an aesthetic and functional replacement crown's.
Do you find them to be problematic?
To be fair, bridges can provide patients with perfectly good outcomes and they do tend to cost less than dental implants, which is why many people opt for them instead. The problem with traditional bridges is that they only replace the crowns of the teeth and not the roots. This can cause the underlying bone to atrophy over time, which results in a drop in the bone level. Infection can then become a problem because food and other debris can become trapped underneath the bridge.
Many patients also complain about bridges not feeling natural. They are then looking at the need to have their bridge replaced or repaired after 10 or more years, so this is why many dentists simply recommend that patients have problematic teeth replaced with dental implants from the get go.
Do dental implants prevent this atrophy from happening?
Well you see, what many people don’t know is that the roots of the teeth are essential for channeling the eating forces into the supporting bone tissue. This keeps it stimulated and healthy, much like muscles are kept bulky and healthy through regular exercise. When the roots of the teeth are lost and not replaced, the underlying bone atrophies and wastes away over time, which is why people without teeth have such small, fragile lower jaws. Dental implants replace the roots of the teeth and this helps to maintain jawbone health and bulk. This is one of the most important reasons dental healthcare professionals prefer dental implants to any other teeth replacement solution.
Stay Tuned for Part 3
Stay tuned for part-3 of this four-part article series to find out more about dental implants and what patients can expect from getting missing and/or irreparably damaged teeth replaced.