People are living longer than ever, and while regular brushing, flossing, and checkups allow many of us to maintain our natural smiles for a lifetime, sometimes our teeth just can't keep up. If you've lost a tooth (or a few teeth) due to injury or disease, dental implants can rejuvenate both your smile and your oral health. Dental implants with Dr. Marshall Clayton in Scottsdale, AZ are a great way to restore missing teeth and improve your smile.
Dr. Clayton has been restoring implants for over 25 years and has successfully completed hundreds of cases. He continues his education by going to several courses a year to stay on the leading-edge of the evolving nature of implant dentistry.
What is a dental implant?
An implant is an artificial tooth root that is placed in the jaw in order to replace a tooth or teeth, or sometimes, to stabilize a denture. The “root” is usually made of titanium: the same material used in many replacement hips and knees, and a metal that is well-suited to pairing with human bone. A tooth restoration, or crown, is then fixed to the post. The crown can be either permanently attached or removable. Permanent teeth are more stable and feel more like natural teeth.
The ideal candidate for implants is a non-smoker who has good oral health, including a sufficient amount of bone in the jaw, and healthy gums with no sign of gum disease.
Implants are versatile. If you are only missing one tooth, one implant plus one replacement tooth will do the trick. If you are missing several teeth in a row, a few strategically placed implants can support a permanent bridge (a set of replacement teeth). Similarly, if you have lost all of your teeth, a full bridge or full denture can be permanently fixed in your mouth with a strategic number of implants.
Advantages of Implants over Removable Dentures or Bridges
- The instability of conventional bridges and dentures can make it difficult to eat or smile with confidence. Implants not only look more natural, but feel and act more like normal teeth, with a stronger biting force.
- Implants don’t compromise the health of your natural teeth since they don’t rely on neighboring teeth for support.
- Implants will typically last a lifetime if they’re cared for properly, while bridges usually only last ten years.
Taking Care of Your Implant
Consider your replacement teeth to be the same as natural teeth. They require the same daily brushing and flossing, and the same amount of regular checkups. With proper maintenance, implants should last many, many years, if not a lifetime.
Once your dental implant restoration is completed, it is important to keep the area clean and free of infection. Dental implants can accumulate plaque and tartar just as teeth can. Whether you have just one tooth replaced by an implant or several, a professional cleaning schedule at our Scottsdale, AZ office will be necessary to keep your implants healthy. The time interval for these professional cleanings will be determined by Dr. Clayton to meet your individual needs.