Dental Health Associates in Wilmington restore function with aesthetics in mind.
It can happen in an instant; your child gets hit with a baseball and loses a tooth. Or, it can happen over a lifetime; as you age, you may lose teeth. But in the last 30 years, the standard of care for missing teeth—even if the cause is congenital—has changed. New technology, materials, and the expertise of dental professionals make it possible to replace missing teeth with dental implants, which restore not only function, but appearance, as well.
“Today’s implants are highly aesthetic; they look like natural teeth,” says Dr. Philip L. Pike, of Dental Health Associates in Wilmington. “Historically, when a tooth was lost, a bridge was placed, impacting two additional, healthy teeth. With an implant, the problem of the single tooth is solved without affecting the teeth around it.”
EASY IMPLANT PROCEDURE
Sometimes when a tooth is broken, the root can be extracted and an implant placed the same day. An implant, made of titanium, is placed in the jawbone, with one or two easily tolerated surgeries. The bone then fuses around the implant in four to six weeks. A temporary crown is used while a new tooth, fabricated to match existing teeth, is created out of materials such as porcelain and zirconia. When the permanent implant is ready for restoration, an abutment is screwed on to the titanium base, providing the foundation for the permanent crown. This offers both the appearance and function of a natural tooth.
BENEFITS FOR DENTURE WEARERS
Implants are used for more than just tooth replacement—they’ve revolutionized the ability to wear dentures comfortably.
“A number of my patients wear dentures, and many have struggled with dentures for years,” Dr. Pike says. “A lot of denture patients don’t know that implants, as a complement to dentures, are a possibility. Two implants can be placed to serve as anchors for the denture—the denture actually attaches to the implants—and it’s like a new world for the patient.”
Providing a full arch of teeth in the lower jaw can be done with as few as two implants, plus a denture. A complete restoration without a denture can be accomplished with four to six implants.
Dr. Pike has even had patients in their 80s and 90s who come in and say, “What can I do?” The answer is, often, to place a couple of implants that dentures can attach to, ultimately making them much more comfortable and functional. According to Dr. Pike, “Dental implants are the standard of care today.”
Dr. Philip L. Pike’s practice is Dental Health Associates. To make an appointment or learn more, call 302-239-0303 or visit www.pikedentalhealth.com.
Dental Health Associates
4901 Limestone Road, Suite C
Wilmington, DE 19808