It is incredibly important to replace missing teeth as soon as possible. Not only can missing teeth drastically alter your appearance, but your speech and eating ability may also be affected. Remaining teeth will begin to drift toward the gap left by a missing tooth, causing misalignment and strain on your natural teeth. Furthermore, without stimulation, the jawbone tissue underneath the missing tooth will begin to deteriorate. Dr. Gilly Calcagno can deter these destructive consequences with dental implants.
For those missing one tooth, an implant can provide single-tooth replacement. Dental implants can be broken down into two basic units. A titanium rod fuses directly with the jawbone to serve as the root of the prosthetic tooth. Once the rod is placed into your jawbone, expect a three-to-six-month healing period, called osseointegration. During this phase, bone tissue will bond with your implant. Once the healing process is complete, a porcelain crown and abutment attaches to the titanium rod. The porcelain crown will be specially made in a dental laboratory to match your natural teeth.
Fixed Teeth Replacement
If you have several teeth missing in a row, a single bridge may be placed on one or more implants. Like the singular porcelain crown, prosthetic teeth and crowns on bridges are made specifically to blend with the appearance of a patient’s natural teeth. Custom-made bridgework will be cemented or screwed onto implant posts. As is the case with all implants, the posts halt jawbone loss and replace missing teeth, without disturbing healthy teeth.
If you are missing a complete set of upper or lower teeth, removable implant-supported dentures may be the ideal solution. Two to six implants can support a lower denture, while an upper denture may require only four implants. Implant-supported dentures also support the lips and cheeks for a youthful appearance. While traditional dentures may slip out of place, causing discomfort and problems eating, drinking, and speaking, implant-supported dentures snap or into place, which creates stability and improves oral function. Like traditional dentures, implant-supported dentures can be removed for easy cleaning.
About the Author: Dr. Calcagno has completed an advanced course in cosmetic dentistry at LSU in New Orleans and regularly attends the annual meeting of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentists. She is happily accepting new patients. To schedule an appointment with Calcagno Cosmetic & Restorative Dentistry in Rochester, call (507) 281-3659.