Replacing Missing Teeth

Center for Oral Surgery & Dental Implants – Grand Rapids & Rockford MI

Missing Teeth And Your Health

Your teeth affect your whole body. When they’re healthy, you’re healthier too. A missing tooth can affect your bite, speech, and eating choices. As you rely more on your remaining teeth, you increase the chance they will wear out prematurely, be damaged, or lost. You may also experience headaches and/or jaw pain.

Who would want their appearance and health to deteriorate? That’s the natural consequence of missing teeth — the jaw literally melts away. Generally, people will lose 25% of their supporting jawbone structure within the first year after tooth loss. Dental implants are more easily placed when teeth are first extracted because bone replacement becomes more complex as time passes. The great news? Implants act just like your natural teeth. They safeguard and preserve your bone structure, oral health and appearance. Your dentist and the implant surgeon will provide you with options so that you can make the most informed decision concerning tooth replacement.

 

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Grand Rapids Office Phone Number 616-361-7327
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Tooth Replacement Options

You can select from a number of different options to replace your missing teeth – from temporary to long-lasting solutions.

A good candidate is anyone missing one or more teeth, or who is unhappy with their dentures. Age is not a factor. However, smoking, diseases such as diabetes, and radiation therapy to the area, have been shown to lower the success rate of implant placement. X-rays of your jaw will be taken to evaluate whether they will accommodate implants. Detailed x-rays may also be required to determine if other tests or procedures are needed to place implants properly.

An example of a dental fixed bridge

Fixed Bridge

A fixed bridge is a connected set of replacement teeth. For support, it is cemented into position on top of the teeth adjacent to the empty space. The protective outer layer of these teeth is usually removed or ground down prior to attaching the bridge.

An sample of a removable retainer with a plastic tooth known as a flipper

Flipper

A fragile, temporary and inexpensive solution is a removable plastic tooth with a plastic retainer, often called a “flipper”.

A depiction of a sturdy partial denture cast in metal and plastic

Metal Partial

A less fragile option is a removable partial denture cast in metal and plastic. It is held in place by wire clips. A removable partial denture can be removed and reinserted when required by the patient.

A representation of a full denture for the entire lower jaw

Denture

The most common solution, for people missing all teeth in one or both jaws are complete dentures. Some people adapt well to dentures. Others find them uncomfortable, even intolerable, because of differences in jaw size and shape.

A visual of a permanent dental implant to replace missing teeth

Dental Implants

Dental implants are the most comfortable and permanent solution. They form a strong foundation for teeth and keep the jaw healthy and strong. Implants support individual replacement teeth or secure specialized dentures in place. Unlike bridges, no healthy teeth are damaged. Unlike most bridges, implants can last a lifetime. Implant-supported replacement teeth can be attractive, stable, and comfortable for almost any patient.

Why Select Dental Implants Over More Traditional Types Of Restorations?

There are several reasons: A dental bridge can sacrifice the structure of surrounding good teeth to bridge the space of the missing tooth/teeth. In addition, removing a denture or a “partial” at night may be inconvenient, not to mention dentures that slip can be uncomfortable and rather embarrassing.

What Are Dental Implants?

A natural tooth consists of a root and a crown. If you compare natural teeth to implant-supported replacement teeth, you’ll see they have the same basic parts. Both have a crown (the visible part used to chew food). Both have a root that holds the tooth securely under the gum and is anchored into the jaw. The difference is that the implant is made of titanium — the same time-tested material used by surgeons for artificial joints. When you lose a tooth, you lose both the root and the crown. To replace the tooth, the surgeon first replaces the root with a small dental implant.

Time is allowed for bone to heal and grow around the dental implant. The bone bonds with the titanium, creating a strong foundation for artificial teeth.  A support post (abutment) is then placed on the implant and a new replacement tooth (crown) is placed on top of the abutment. In many cases a temporary replacement tooth can be attached to the implant immediately after it is placed. If all of your teeth are missing, a variety of treatment options are available to support the replacement teeth.

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A smiling elderly man

      “Don’t Be Afraid to Smile.”

For years I’d felt like a part of my body was missing — because my teeth were. My dentist told me that dental implants would make me feel and look a lot better. OK, I said. Now, I’m thrilled. I can smile, eat anything, and enjoy a good laugh with my friends.

Surgical Advances

Using the most recent advances in dental implant technology, Dr. Palm, Dr. Panek, Dr. Bullups, Dr. Jesin, Dr. Van Heukelom and Dr. Noordhoek are able to place single stage implants. These implants do not require a second procedure to uncover them, but do require a minimum of six weeks of healing time before artificial teeth are placed. There are even situations where the implant can be placed at the same time as the tooth extraction – further minimizing your number of surgical procedures.

Dental implant placement is a team effort between an oral and maxillofacial surgeon and a restorative dentist.  Drs. Palm, Panek, Bullups, Jesin, Van Heukelom or Noordhoek performs the actual implant surgery, initial tooth extractions, and bone grafting if necessary.  The restorative dentist (your dentist) fits and makes the permanent prosthesis. Your dentist will also make any temporary prosthesis needed during the implant process.

Contact us with any questions or to make an appointment.

 

Center for Oral Surgery & Dental Implants

5 out of 5 stars based on 7 Dental Implants reviews.

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

Dr Roseanne is the best oral surgeon that I have ever been to. She was so kind and very professional and worked fast but carefully.She is the best!

- Donna H

5 out of 5 stars on

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

There is a lot of contact with staff and the physician. You are well taken care of before, during, and after the surgery. Before the surgery, there is a complete explanation of the procedure that is so reassuring. During surgery there is on-going communication with the patient about what is being done as well as how much time is left to complete the procedure. After surgery care is well-explained and you are encouraged to call their office with any questions or even if you need reassurance that any discomfort you may be feeling is normal or needs a follow-up. A letter is then received from the office two days after the surgery letting you know that your recovery is important to them along with numbers to call with any questions or concerns. I have never felt more taken care of. I highly recommend this office for any oral surgery needs. I've had two extractions and one implant at this office, and it's always as I've described. They care, and this is the only place I will go to have dental surgery.

- Ruth J

5 out of 5 stars on

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

Very friendly and professional team

- Jeana H

5 out of 5 stars on

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

The Rockford location staff were kind and courteous. Everyone I encounters were knowledgeable about the procedure and after care. The office was clean and tidy.

- Theresa T

5 out of 5 stars on

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

I have had numerous procedures done by the surgeons here and every experience has been exceptional. Highly recommend them!!

- Jill H

5 out of 5 stars on

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

Very pleasnant easy experience considering the procedure . I was expecting a lot more pain and discomfort . Pleasantly surprised of how smootheverything went

- andre C

5 out of 5 stars on

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

My first visit was with Dr. Jesin a very confident and knowledgeable caring professional. After serving my country for ten years in the United States Marine Corps and being referred by the local Veterans Administration, it is was refreshing to feel the care from professionals and the staff members from the Center for Oral Surgery and Dental Implants of Grand Rapids, Michigan. Thank you for the wonderful dental care and the follow-up of my wellness.

- Jermaine M

5 out of 5 stars on