Dental Implants in St Louis

Dental Implants in St Louis

Whatever causes it hardly matters. You may have had a tooth knocked out in an accident or while engaging in a friendly pickup game of basketball. It could be that a filling you got as an adolescent has grown so old that it weakens, and the years of contracting and expanding metal in the tooth has undermined the integrity of the enamel will microscopic fissures and cracks - now you have bitten into something, possible as soft as a piece of bread, and the entire tooth crumbles, leaving very little to attach a crown to. Maybe decay has advanced so far into the tooth that it has attacked the root, and the entire structure must be extracted.

The tooth loss is always disconcerting. Not only does it feel odd to have the gap in the wall of teeth, but it makes eating more complicated. Even worse, the remaining teeth will shift in an attempt to fill in the gap, resulting in crooked teeth that can cause serious bite problems. The ensuing orthodontic treatment can be expensive.

Dental implants are by far the best method for replacing missing teeth in modern dentistry. No tooth-replacement option provides you a longer-lasting result. Implants help preserve tooth-supporting bone that begins to deteriorate when a tooth is lost. This bone loss has a negative impact on the bone structure of the rest of the jaw, leading to future problems with the remaining teeth.

What Are Dental Implants?

An implant is a titanium post that is surgically positioned into the jawbone beneath the gum line that acts much like a tooth root. This allows your dentist to mount replacement teeth or even a permanent a bridge into that area.

A technical term for a dental implant is endosseous implant or fixture. The effectiveness of the procedure stems from a biologic process called osseointegration: materials, such as titanium, form an intimate bond to bone. Once the implant is anchored into the bone, a dental prosthetic, such as a tooth, a bridge or denture can be attached, either directly or with an abutment that holds the prosthetic.

Dental implant with abutment and crown attached.

It is difficult to distinguish real teeth from prosthetic teeth (hint: the upper & lower left molars are prosthetics).

Movement in a lower denture can fixed by implants with ball and socket retention.

A bridge can be supported by two or more implants.

Ten Things to Know about Dental Implants

  1. Implants look and feel like natural teeth – Our dentists can match your new tooth, secured by a dental implant, to the look of your natural tooth.
  2. You can get them in just one day. Thanks to advancements in technology and improved hardware, the dental implant process is more efficient than ever. It’s now possible for a patient to enter a dental office and walk out with a brand new dental implant or set of teeth.
  3. They literally become part of your jawbone. Through the process of osseointegration, oral implants actually fuse to the bone in your mouth. Furthermore, they stimulate bone growth like a natural tooth root would, thus making them “part of your jawbone.”
  4. Almost everyone is a candidate. Worried about bone loss or your age? Neither is a problem with today’s implants. Patients from 16 to 86 can be deemed ideal candidates.
  5. The success rate for oral implants is nearly perfect. At 98%, the success rate for  implants is higher than any other tooth replacement solution. The dental implant process has been fine-tuned and improved for decades, making it more reliable than ever.
  6. They can’t get cavities. Say goodbye to fillings and tooth decay with implants. They can’t develop cavities like your natural teeth and are easy to clean.
  7. You can eat whatever you want with them. Other tooth replacement solutions like dentures can severely limit your diet, meaning you can’t eat things like nuts, chewy foods and hot foods. With implants, you can eat like you normally would.
  8. They’ve been used for thousands of years. Oral implants have actually been used since around 600 AD, when Mayan people would hammer shells into the jawbone. Things have fortunately changed since then!
  9. Modern implants were discovered by accident. The modern dental implant was actually the result of a rabbit experiment by a Swedish surgeon in 1952. It was found that titanium fuses to bone through osseointegration, the same method used in the modern dental implant.
  10. Implants can replace your entire set of teeth. Not only is it possible to replace all of your teeth with implants, you can do it with just four implants.

We need a healthy set of teeth to function well and, especially, in order to enjoy the finer things in life such as good food. However, over time, things wear out or get broken, including one or more tooth. If that happens, you no longer have to put up with the inconvenience, annoyance and insecurity of denture. Implants anchor the prosthetic tooth into your jaw securely and permanently. With implants you can ignore all those TV commercials about slipping dentures or getting kiwi seeds stuck under them. Dentures, as an old technology, can cause problems. Gateway Oral Surgery, with its proficiency with dental implants, is able and happy to assist you in leading an enjoyable, better life.

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