Dental Implants | Boulder, CO
Missing Teeth Replacement
When a tooth (or teeth) have been lost (decay, fracture, accident) many changes can occur. The bone that holds teeth in is different than the bone in the rest of your body. Its sole purpose is to support the tooth. Take the tooth away and the bone goes away too. That means that the bone on the remaining teeth is compromised as well. It can result in a sunken in facial appearance. Furthermore, it can cause a change in one’s ability to chew and digest food. It can cause a change in ones bite, which can cause a lot of other problems.
If you had books on a shelf and you took a book out of the center of them, what would happen? The remaining books would shift towards that space. In the mouth, the shifting of teeth can cause food to become stuck in between the remaining teeth, which can cause gum and bone problems, as well as decay.
The shift in bite can also cause Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMD) which can cause headaches, neck aches, back pain, tingling in the fingers, etc.
Dental Implants from Dr. Birnbach of bouldersmiles can prevent many of these problems. An implant preserves bone and chewing capability. Before implants were available, the options were to do nothing and put up with the ensuing issues. One could have a removable partial denture made to replace the missing tooth/teeth. It was a simple, inexpensive solution. The problem with that is that the hard plastic over the soft gums could cause irritation in the gums. The plastic could crowd the tongue on the lower jaw, or cover the palate on the upper jaw, causing changes in speech and chewing and taste. Because it was removable, it wasn’t stable and therefore the chewing forces were reduced. Furthermore, because it was attached to other teeth, it could cause them to loosen or decay.
The better alternative is to have a false tooth attached to the teeth on either side of the missing tooth.
Because it was attached, it was stronger and more comfortable, not affecting taste and speech.
The problem with the fixed partial denture (bridge) is that it required the teeth that held it in place to be cut down, causing irreversible change to otherwise healthy teeth. And because it was fixed in place, it would be harder to keep clean. Therefore these appliances often failed because of new decay on the teeth that held them in place.
Dental Implants are a single tooth solution for a single tooth problem. Implants can help to stabilize dentures to make them more secure. The process of placing an implant is relatively simple. Once it is in place, the bone will grow around it. This process takes several months. Once the implant has integrated, a crown can be placed to restore the form and function of the lost tooth.
Am I a candidate for dental implants?
Most people are good candidates for implants. A thorough evaluation is required to determine what type of implant is appropriate. People who smoke, are taking bisphosphonates, or have other bone problems are not good subjects.