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Dental Implants are the best, when done carefully.

I have been helping people like you successfully replace missing teeth with implants for years [20+ years!]. Implants are considered to be the best way to replace teeth which are important to maintaining your appearance and function. They work well to allow for non-removable replacements which most of our clients report they cannot tell are any different from their natural teeth. They can also be wonderful supports for removable teeth replacements.

Within the last few days we placed 3 implant restorations for a wonderful lady. She previously had a removable bridge [“partial denture”] which was a food trap, as they invariably are, for anyone needing these types of restorations. Removable bridges are less expensive than implants but much more tedious to maintain and not nearly as long lasting as implant restorations.

Dental implant restorations can last as long as you may live. When placing permanent restorations, I place them with the longest lasting cement [which is plastic resin based], so that my restorations almost never come loose. The cements I use will last 2 to 3 lifetimes according to scientific research. My typical statement to a member of our Dental Family when delivering a bonded, permanent restoration is that I am planning on this person living to 150 years of age and this restoration lasting all of that time with no more treatment needed. This type of cement is a little more difficult to work with but I use it all of the time because it provides the best benefit.

Implant restorations are unique in that they are more solidly affixed to the bone than teeth are. Dental implants actually protect weaker teeth near them by being so solid. Dental implant restorations need to be maintained carefully and placed very carefully also. When placed carefully and in place for 18 months, implants will last pretty much indefinitely. However, if a the dental implant recipient grinds their teeth [if so, then a nightguard is recommended always!] or doesn’t come in for dental exams and evaluations regularly, the bite can become uneven and then dental implants can be eventually lost. Dental implants don’t tolerate biting on inclines [uneven or bite interferences] nearly as well as natural teeth. The bite needs to be checked on implant restored replacement teeth regularly or they can be unexpectedly lost. If you have an implant and the gum around it is sensitive then have it checked at your earliest convenience, within a week or so. Don’t delay having an implant restoration checked at your earliest convenience if you suspect a problem which lasts more than a week or so.

Dental implants also have more of a tendency to be food traps than natural teeth if not restored properly. I almost exclusively use custom crown supports for implant restorations. [Some implant restorations don’t need these, but this is rare. If a custom abutment is not needed, we reduce the cost for our Dental Family member.] There are major practice groups which advertise regularly which don’t use custom supports [custom abutments]. We have seen a number of these which are causing problems for newer dental family members of ours. There is no easy remedy for this. The restorations need to be replaced to solve this problem. The implants are generally fine, however, if they are restored properly in time. The cost of these “implant factory” services are usually more expensive than what the total charges are for our more effective and comfortable implant restoration services.

Implant restorations must be delivered carefully also. Cement at the gum line can cause gum disease around a dental implant and even loss of the implant. We use custom abutments and very carefully clean around the implant restorations as we deliver them to minimize the chance of this occurring.

Just as with almost everything else, it pays to do some investigation and be careful when choosing to buy dental implant services. Don’t go by price or advertising alone. We are here to help you and will serve you with the best materials and techniques available.

Dr. Dave

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