August 17, 2016
How would you describe a great smile? It’s warm, friendly, confident, and comfortable.
That’s true, but what are the physical features of a great smile?
The teeth are straight. The teeth are white and clean.
But mainly, the teeth are there.
So, what can you do if you’ve lost your teeth? Do you settle for dentures?
You could, but we think you can go one step better. At Community Shores Dental, our dentists believe that our patients in Norton Shores, that patients throughout Michigan, deserve the best teeth replacements options that are available today.
We believe you deserve implant-supported dentures.
More Than Just Dentures
There was a time when dentures were the best option for replacing missing teeth.
It’s also true that at different times humans have used animal bones, animal teeth, seashells, and stones to replace lost teeth.
Each step of the way, we changed to using something better. Today, that something better is implant-supported dentures.
Next to regrowing your permanent teeth (which you aren’t going to do), dental implants are the next best thing. They are so good that some dentists actually have started referring to implant-supported dentures as our third set of teeth.
Dental implants do something the other teeth replacements couldn’t — no matter if those replacements were crafted from ivory or porcelain.
Dental implants replace the roots of your teeth. Implants were developed as a result of a somewhat accidental discovery.
A Swedish physician named Dr. Per-Ingvar Brånemark was doing research on blood circulation in the 1950s when he inserted titanium cylinders into the leg bones of rabbits.
His plan was to reuse the cylinders as needed. Instead, he learned that bone would attach itself to the titanium.
This disrupted his initial research plans, but it set him on a course that led him to develop modern dental implants.
Stability And Strength
Dental implants have been around for decades, and we now have a much better understanding of how they can benefit patients who are missing teeth.
When dental implants are placed into a patient’s jaw, the bone will reform around the implant. In some ways, this is similar to what happens when a doctor resets a broken bone. As new tissue is created, the bone reforms.
With implants, another process is taking place. This is osseointegration. This is the term coined by Dr. Brånemark to describe the way bone bonds to titanium.
As this happens, your implants become more secure in your jaw. This also is why a series of dental implants can provide a stable foundation to support a set of dentures.
With implants, your dentures are no longer resting outside of your gums. By replacing your roots, your dentures now have what amount to anchors holding it firmly in place.
That also gives some added “umph” to your bite. Actually, it gives quite a bit of “umph.”
Consider this: A healthy adult with all of his or her teeth has a bite in the range of 200 to 250 pounds of force. This is more than enough to bite into an apple, chew a piece of steak, or eat corn while it’s still on the cob.
In contrast, researchers have found that individuals with traditional dentures can generate up to 50 pounds of force after they get accustomed to having them. That’s a considerable drop from when you had all your teeth.
It is better than no teeth at all, but eating apple, corn, and steaks is decidedly more challenging.
With implant-supported dentures, you may not regain 100 percent of your original bite force, but you can get close enough that you may not be able to tell the difference.
Other Uses For Dental Implants
We have focused primarily on implants as a support system for dentures, but that’s not all they can do.
A person who lost a single tooth used to need a dental bridge to fill the gap in her or his smile. Now, that person can get a dental implant and place a dental crown on it.
Then again, someone who is missing multiple teeth may still want a dental bridge. Before, this would have required grinding down two healthy teeth to support the bridge.
Now, you can use one or more implants to support the bridge, and you don’t have to touch healthy teeth in the process.
Eat The Foods That You Like
A hot bowl of soup can be a great comfort on a cold winter’s night, but that doesn’t mean you want to eat it for dinner every night. Thanks to dental implants, you can eat the foods that you like to eat whenever you want.