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How Dental Implants Can Improve Your Smile and Your Oral Health

Americans have a poor dental record. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, by the time they reach 17 years, 7% have lost at least one permanent tooth to decay or periodontal disease. In the 35-44 age group, that number skyrockets to 69%. By the age of 50, Americans have lost an average of 12 teeth, and for the 65-74 age group, 26% have lost all their teeth.

Not only can the loss of a tooth impact how you feel about yourself and your smile, but it can also negatively impact your oral and overall health. But what options do you have available, and which one’s the best?

At Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Associates and Advanced Dental Implants located in Bayside, Queens, and on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, our expert dentists Dr. Scott Goldstein and Dr. Peter Rosa provide a premiere oral surgery experience for all our patients, and that includes the replacement of missing teeth. For most patients, we recommend dental implants. Keep reading to learn why.

How a missing tooth impacts your health

Your oral health is a reflection of your overall health, and a key risk to your oral health is missing teeth. Research shows, as well, that the risk increases with each additional missing tooth. Some problems you could develop include:

Untreated tooth decay or chronic bacterial infection from missing teeth can spread through the bloodstream and lead to:

Options for replacing missing teeth

You have a number of options to replace missing teeth:

Dentures

This appliance is usually made from metal or acrylic, and it contains tooth-like fittings where your teeth used to be. They can either be a complete set, if you’re missing all your teeth, or a partial, where you still have some of your natural teeth.

Dentures are removable, which also means they can move around in your mouth when you talk or eat. You can use a dental adhesive to attach them to your gums, but this is an imperfect solution for most people.

Bridges

Bridges are “filler” teeth mounted on either side of the missing tooth’s gap. The dentist bonds it to the neighboring teeth or to specially made crowns that support the structure. They are a more permanent alternative to dentures, but they’re generally used only when you’re missing a few teeth, and, like dentures, they only last about 10 years.

Implants

Dental implants are a more permanent solution than either dentures or bridges, and they feel and act more like natural teeth. They don’t move around in your mouth, and they don’t need to be removed at any time. They’re surgically placed in your jawbone, helping to both preserve your facial structure and prevent the deterioration of the jawbone from lack of chewing pressure.

Dental implants consist of three parts:

  1. The implant: A titanium screw anchored in your jawbone
  2. The abutment: A structure that attaches to the post and supports the overlying crown
  3. The crown: A false tooth made of porcelain or resin composite that sits atop the structure

The process does take a bit of time. After the screw is anchored, it takes about 6-8 months for the area to heal and for the screw to fully fuse with the bone. After that, we can create the abutment and take a mold of your mouth so the lab can create the crown. You wear a temporary denture or crown until the final placement.

The crown is manufactured to match the color and size of your surrounding teeth, making it virtually indistinguishable from them. And, perhaps best of all, implants are made to last a lifetime. You simply take care of them the same way you would your natural teeth, by brushing, flossing, and getting regular dental checkups and cleanings.

To learn more about dental implants and to find out if you’re a good candidate for the procedure, contact Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Associates and Advanced Dental Implants by calling either of our New York offices or by scheduling an appointment online. We can help restore your oral health and give you something to smile about again.

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