Missing teeth, or losing a tooth, can be a traumatic experience and affects daily life for many patients: chewing food is difficult in many cases and speech can also be affected. Frequently, embarrassment is also a factor and patients find themselves trying not to smile and avoiding social situations.
The restorative options for replacing a missing tooth – or teeth- are dentures, dental bridges or dental implants. In most cases, unless a patient is not a good candidate, Dr. Leonard Hess, a restorative and cosmetic dentist serving the Charlotte area, recommends dental implants.
Dentures can offer patients natural looking replacement teeth that are removable for cleaning and can be adjusted for fit as needed. However, this feature can also cause discomfort for many patients who may find it difficult to eat certain foods due to slippage. Additionally, over time the jaw bone may begin to recede and dentures will begin to feel loose and uncomfortable.
Dental implants, while more costly up front, offer many long term benefits and provide a natural looking AND functioning replacement for lost teeth. Anchored into the jaw bone with a tiny titanium post, a dental implant acts much like a natural tooth. The post can also help to preserve jaw bone, minimizing bone recession that naturally occurs when a tooth is removed.
Dr. Hess, a nationally recognized educator in the field of dentistry, will place a custom made crown on the post once it heals which will feel secure and blend with surrounding natural teeth. Implants do not require patients to watch what they eat because they are permanently attached to the bone!
Patients with ill fitting full dentures often choose to replace them with implant secured dentures: Dr. Hess permanently secures the dentures with strategically placed implants. No more slipping dentures or adhesives!
If you have questions about dental implants and the dental implant process, contact Dr. Hess at Union County Center for Comprehensive Dentistry to schedule a consultation.