Dental implants are an increasingly popular choice for people who are missing a tooth (or multiple teeth). Here are a few facts from the American Academy of Implant Dentistry:
- Over 35 million people in the U.S. are missing all the teeth in one or both of their jaws.
- 15 million Americans have crown and bridge replacements for missing teeth.
- 3 million Americans have dental implants — and that number is growing by 500,000 a year.
- The success rate of dental implants is 98 percent.
Alternatives such as dentures and bridges are becoming less desirable due to cosmetic concerns, the inconvenience involved in caring for them, and in the case of bridges, the relatively short lifespan that requires going back to the dentist for additional work.
Advantages of Dental Implants
Dental implants have several advantages that cause patients to choose them.
- Dental implants are simple to clean. Dentures are inconvenient to clean since they have to be removed. And it’s difficult to get your brush into all the nooks that bridges have. But implants function just like your natural teeth, so you can clean them just as you would your natural teeth.
- Dental implants are made to last. Bridges have a typical lifespan of five to seven years, maxing out at ten years. Dental implants are designed to last a lifetime, and they’re a good investment long-term.
- Implants don’t change your appearance. Because dental implants look and function just like natural teeth, your face shape won’t change when you have them. No one will know that your teeth aren’t natural!
- Dental implants make it easy to talk. Patients with dentures often report challenges speaking. Because implants operate like natural teeth, you won’t experience difficulty speaking.
- Dental implants give you confidence in your appearance. Dental implants provide confidence because they look like normal teeth. And they’re permanent, so you won’t have to worry about them moving around.
- Implants protect your jawbone. Your jawbone is designed to support teeth. When you’re missing a tooth, the jawbone tends to deteriorate at the location where a tooth should be. Dental implants preserve the healthy bone, and they even stimulate bone growth!
- Implants protect the healthy teeth. Bridges inherently create damage to adjacent teeth because they are attached to the teeth next to them. Attaching a bridge requires that a portion of the teeth on either side is ground away, to fit the bridge’s anchors in between the teeth. Implants, on the other hand, are attached to the jawbone itself and leave healthy teeth unharmed.
- You can enjoy your favorite foods. There are no food restrictions with implants! Since they function just like real teeth, you can eat whatever you like. This is one of the main reasons that patients enjoy implants over other options like dentures or bridges.
- Implants have an excellent track record. Implants have a proven record of success over time. While bridges and dentures risk of developing problems, and retreatment of failing root canal (endodontic) therapy is also a factor, patients with dental implants enjoy strong success rates with few issues.
New Implant Technology that Provides Peace of Mind: X-Guide™
A new technology has been developed in close collaboration with leading oral and maxillofacial surgeons that provides even greater peace of mind to dental implant patients. The X-Guide™ is is a placement technology that allows surgeons to see “virtually” inside the mouth, via 3D imaging.
The technology was approved by the FDA in December 2015 and has since seen astounding success. Think of X-Guide™ as GPS for the surgeon’s instrument. The technology provides turn-by-turn instructions to guide surgeons to the exact location where the dental implant post should be positioned (including optimal angle and depth). The result is greater functional and aesthetic outcomes for patients.
The Benefits of X-Guide™
This technology is quickly becoming one of the most sought-after in dentistry today. Patients who have heard about X-Guide™ are actively seeking out surgeons who use it, because they know that their experience and results will be improved with it.
X-Guide™ provides patients several benefits as a result of the precise accuracy in placement. This technology takes the skill of the surgeon and multiplies it, so success rates are increased. At the same time, treatment times and risks of complications are reduced.
The Steps of a Dental Implant with X-Guide™
Dental implant surgery with X-Guide™ is a straightforward process. Here are the steps you can expect.
- We fabricate a tracking array.
- The tracking array is placed in your mouth, and we take a CBCT.
- Dr. Linger plans your surgery using the X-Guide's "Virtual 3D" software.
- On the day of surgery, Dr. Linger places the tracking array in your mouth and then attaches an array to his instrument and it’s registered to the system.
- Dr. Linger performs your surgery under dynamic image guidance. Incisions are minimal.
Our goal is to keep patients informed at every stage so they’re comfortable. If you ever have a question, we encourage you to ask.
If you’d like to learn more about dental implants or X-Guide technology in particular, we invite you to call us at 704-364-2510 or contact us here. We’re happy to talk with you. We offer free consultations for dental implants also.