Injuries, untreated tooth decay and gum disease are some of the most common reasons why patients choose dental implants to replace a missing tooth.
Treatment options for a single-tooth replacement include:
Removable partial dentures: A partial has a set of number of teeth attached to a plastic, gum-colored base that’s held together with metal supports. Patients wear the partial on their gum line, securing down with metal clasps. Some patients express dissatisfaction with the bulky nature and metal quality of the appliance. The failure rate of a partial can also be as high as high as 30 percent after five to seven years of wear.
A fixed partial denture (Three Unit Bridge): A fixed partial denture/bridge is anchored between two existing teeth, called abutments, which must be grinded down to accommodate the bridge. The new tooth is fastened to the remaining teeth to keep the appliance in place. Bridges often weaken jaw bones and lead to tooth decay. They also need to be replaced – sometimes more than once – and the failure rate of a fixed partial can be as high as high as 30 percent after five to seven years of wear.
Dental implants: Most patients today are switching to dental implants to replace a missing tooth because they do a better job of mimicking the way real teeth and roots work. Made of body-friendly titanium, a single dental implant easily assimilates with existing bone and tissue (called osseointegration), making the new tooth as durable and functional as a real one. Dental implants actually protect the health of your gums and existing teeth and make eating and talking as natural as ever. While the implant itself should last a lifetime, the crown, the part that looks like a real tooth, usually needs to be replaced at some point.
Taking Care of a Dental Implant
Dental implants don’t require any special care. Just like any other tooth in your mouth, a dental implant requires daily flossing and brushing and regular dental checkups to keep it healthy and functional. With good oral hygiene, your dental implant should last forever.
We are accepting new patients in both our Wilmington and Leland offices!
Dr. Deana Cook, located in Wilmington and Leland, NC, is an experienced periodontist who serves patients from Castle Hayne, Porters Neck, Odgen, Leland, Wrightsville Beach, Carolina Beach, Southport, and Hampstead. Dr. Cook, along with our entire team, is looking forward to welcoming you to our office and encourage you to schedule your appointment today!