Missing teeth can make you feel self-conscious and diminish the health of your smile. With a custom restoration supported by dental implants, you can replace the entire structure of your tooth, from root to crown, for a stable, lifelike result. At Harrison Dental Group, our team of dentists provides comprehensive dental implant treatment. We can place and restore your implants with a custom-crafted crown, bridge, or denture. Dr. David Harrison, Dr. Keith Harrison, and Dr. Bradford Korn are dedicated to providing high-quality dental treatment at our two conveniently located offices in Fort Wayne, IN. We are proud to offer this advanced restorative treatment option, which allows our patients to eat, speak, and smile with confidence.
The Dangers of Missing Teeth
Did you know? 25% of U.S. adults aged 60 or older have lost all of their teeth and 40% of the American population is partially edentulous.
According to the American College of Prosthodontists, 178 million people in the United States are missing teeth, and these numbers are on the rise. Unfortunately, when a tooth is lost, the bone that once surrounded it starts to deteriorate. The surrounding teeth will begin to move and drift out of their proper places, causing problems with eating and speaking. Teeth can even break due to the change in your bite. Suddenly, eating the normal foods you love can become a challenge and your self-confidence can take a nosedive.
Options for Replacing Missing Teeth
For a long time, the only options for replacing missing teeth were bridges or dentures. While these methods are successful at filling the gaps in your smile, they do not preserve your jaw bone. They also come with added maintenance including the need for regular repair and replacement, which can be quite costly over your lifetime. Today’s patients can benefit from the longevity and stability of dental implants.
Understanding Dental Implants
Dental implants are made of biocompatible titanium and are surgically placed in your jaw bone to make your restoration look, feel, and function like a natural tooth. You can customize your treatment with dental implants by replacing one tooth or several missing teeth.
Implants provide a stable bite, making eating easy and eliminating the possibility of embarrassing slippage or “clacking” noises.
If you are missing all of your teeth, implant-supported dentures allow you to enjoy the benefits of implants including stability and bone preservation. With this restorative option, implants are placed in the bone and a new or existing denture is attached to them.
Benefits of Replacing Your Teeth with Implants
Implants provide a stable bite, making eating easy and eliminating the possibility of embarrassing slippage or “clacking” noises. With proper home care and regular maintenance, your dental implants can last a lifetime, saving you both time and money in the long run. There are a range of benefits associated with dental implants.
Preserve Your Bone Structure
When teeth are lost, the brain believes resources are no longer needed in that area and the body begins redirecting nutrients and minerals away from certain sections of the jaw. Implants act as artificial tooth roots, stimulating the jaw bone and sending signals to the brain that regenerative resources are still necessary. In this way, implant-supported restorations stabilize and preserve your jaw bone, preventing the "sunken face" look associated with missing teeth.
Enjoy Your Favorite Foods Again
Dental implants make it possible for you to eat anything you like. By creating a stable connection between your jaw and the restoration, the implant posts allow you to bite and chew with confidence. Implant-supported restorations can also improve your nutrition because you can enjoy foods that require more chewing such as meat and vegetables.
Speak with Confidence
Conventional dentures tend to slide out of place at embarrassing moments, causing clicking noises and rubbing on your gum tissue. Dental implants don't move like dentures, making speaking easier and more comfortable.
Save Adjoining Teeth
With a traditional bridge, the teeth on either side of the gap in your smile must be altered to allow for the placement of crowns. In contrast, implant-supported restorations do not rely on other teeth for stability. In this way, dental implants can help you keep your other teeth healthy.
Do I Qualify for Dental Implants?
The first step if you are considering dental implants is to visit our office. We can use our advanced cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) machine as well as X-rays to take scans of your jaw to determine whether you can undergo implant placement. One of our doctors will also sit down with you to discuss your medical history, as well as your goals, needs, and budget.
Good candidates for dental implants:
- Are in good oral and overall health
- Have sufficient bone density in their jaw
- Can safely undergo implant placement surgery
- Do not smoke
Certain conditions, such as gum disease and jawbone atrophy, can interfere with your ability to receive implants. Our team can provide treatment for these conditions to allow you to experience the life-changing benefits of an implant-supported restoration.
Your Treatment Timeline
Restoring your smile with dental implants typically takes several months to complete. At your initial consultation, your doctor can give you an estimated timeline so you have a better idea of what to expect. The first step is receiving any preparatory procedures, such as treatment for gum disease or bone grafts to replace lost jaw tissue.
When you have fully healed, our team can attach a custom crown, bridge, or denture to your implants for a fully restored smile.
Once you have healed from any preliminary treatments, Dr. Keith Harrison can perform your implant placement. During the procedure, he will make a small incision into your gum tissue and embed the implant posts into your jaw. It typically takes three to six months to heal from implant surgery. When you have fully healed, our team can attach a custom crown, bridge, or denture to your implants for a fully restored smile.
Build a Strong, Healthy Smile
Drs. David Harrison, Keith Harrison, and Bradford Korn proudly serve Fort Wayne and the surrounding areas. Please contact us online to schedule an appointment and learn more about dental implants. You can also reach our West Jefferson office at (260) 432-3588 or our Winchester office at (260) 747-4747.