When you have missing teeth and want a permanent solution that is closest in appearance and function to your own natural tooth structure, implants may be the answer. Unlike dentures, an added benefit of implants is that they retain the structure that supports the contours of your face. Implants require coordinated care between Dr. McArdle and an implant surgeon. Once you and the doctor determine implants are the desired treatment, he will make the needed referral. The implant surgeon then performs any needed treatment below the gum line and will do the actual placement. Dr. McArdle will perform any final restorations needed. The first step is a consultation with the doctor.
An implant crown is designed to replace the full structure of your tooth. When a tooth is lost you lose all its structure including the visible crown and the root that anchors it to your jaw. The implant itself is the post that serves the function of the root and is typically inserted into the jaw to fuse with your bone. The custom fabricated crown is then attached to the implant. The process occurs in stages over multiple appointments. The result is an implant crown that looks and functions very much like your own tooth.
An implant-supported bridge replaces several teeth and is an alternative to a fixed bridge. Because it relies on implants to support the bridge structure, it does not stress your natural teeth or roots as a fixed bridge might and is often stronger and more stable.
Implant dentures can replace your full upper and/or lower set of teeth. They are typically a single unit or full bridge that affixes to multiple implants in the jaw. Once attached, they look and act like permanent teeth. Another option is an overdenture that combines the stability of implants with a removable tooth structure. An overdenture may be a good option for the lower jaw when there has been significant bone loss.
There are clearly a number of options and factors to weigh when considering an implant option. Implants are an investment, not just in cost, but in the time needed to ensure your implants are absolutely correct and trouble-free. However, once they are in place, patients are very happy with the results. Dr. McArdle will recommend workable solutions best suited to your individual needs as well as help you weigh the cost and benefits of implants over other remedies for missing teeth.
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