At Zumbro View Dental we are happy to provide this initial information for you. You are always welcome to contact us at any time with questions or concerns.
Implants - Here is an overly simplified description to this involved topic for summary purposes. More detail can be discussed as necessary,
A. There are typically three to four portions of the total implant strategy.
1. The implant surgeon places the foundational portion within the jaw bone.
i. The bone housing that receives the implant may need a bone graft to ‘thicken’ and allow that housing be more suitable to hold the implant.
ii. Almost always the body’s bone accepts the implant and the portion in the jaw bone lasts a lifetime.
iii. There is usually a 96% acceptance rate of the implant – all assessed by implant surgeon.
2. Our office will design and place the two/three portions “above” the jaw bone.
i. These portions typically last 15 – 20 years.
ii. Small part(s) may break necessitating replacement of the entire structure above the gum line over time.
B. A single tooth implant total service fee is more involved than a replacement traditional bridge.
C. Advantages of an implant versus bridge and partial denture:
1. ‘Fixed’ restorations like a dental implant or bridge is not removable and feels more natural and more comfortable. A partial denture is removable.
2. The implant is a “bone saver” in the bone itself – preventing otherwise melting (atrophy) of the bone in the region where tooth was lost before. A bridge or partial denture does not save the underlying bone where the tooth is missing and bone can resorb/change below the bridge or partial denture where you are missing tooth/teeth.
3. The implant can’t get a cavity.
4. The implant is much easier to clean – like a tooth.
5. The implant is self-supportive.
a. You do not have to depend on any neighboring teeth to solve a missing tooth dilemma. Neighboring teeth may be inherently weak which complicates options.
b. Placing bridgework involving neighboring teeth increases stresses on these teeth and increases their risk for bridge seal premature failure and/or support fracture and/or nerve abscessing.
6. The implant typically feels more comfortable since it is supported in the bone like the original tooth.
7. The implant allows the neighboring teeth to NOT be disturbed. A bridge would disturb them and eventually work them harder. ( Two teeth doing the work of three in a small bridge.) This may increase their small but notable chance to abscess under this increased work load.
8. The implant restoration has a higher life expectancy than a bridge.
D. Implant caution:
a. Implant tradition has been in dentistry for over 40 years and mainstream care for over 20 years. However, there is research indicating that inflammation around dental implants could lead to long term implant loss. This is uncommon but has been observed.
b. Lifetime commitment having our office assess and adjust your ‘bite’ is very important to maximize longevity! We intentionally design and desire that you enjoy a ‘light bite’ on the implant crown from the very beginning of use and for a lifetime. A ‘heavy bite’ can shorten its lifespan.