Benefits of Dental Implants in Annapolis & Calvert

The Most Durable and Lifelike Solution for Missing Teeth

Dental implants are the strongest, most lifelike and longest-lasting replacement option for missing teeth or teeth that need to be extracted. They function and feel just like natural teeth, and can last a lifetime—if cared for properly. Dr. Schultheis recommends dental implants as the best choice for all patients who are eligible to receive them.

What is a Dental Implant?

shutterstock_176798672A dental implant is an artificial post inserted into the jaw to act a replacement root for a missing tooth. It is made out of either titanium or an extremely strong porcelain ceramic known as zirconium.

Titanium is a very biocompatible metal that has the ability to fully integrate with human bone tissue, essentially becoming part of the bone. Zirconium is also biocompatible and has the same ability to integrate with the bone, but has no metal in it and is made to be the same color as teeth.

An implant builds a strong foundation for a replacement tooth

After an implant is placed, the surrounding bone cells integrate (fuse) with the implant surfaces and firmly anchor it in the jaw. The fully integrated implant is just as strong as a natural, healthy tooth root.

A connecting piece—known as an abutment—is placed on top of the implant. This becomes the attachment point for a dental crown, a dental bridge, or a denture.

Who are Candidates for Dental Implants?

doctor with patient dental implant

Most patients are able to receive dental implants. Come see us for a full consultation and find out if you are a candidate.

Technology has advanced so much in recent years that almost anyone is now able to receive dental implants. In the past, patients with a lot of bone loss around their missing teeth were not considered eligible, as implants need a certain amount of bone support to be stable. However, for most patients, our doctors can use modern bone grafting techniques to regenerate lost bone so that implants can be securely placed.

Even patients with health problems that would have made implant placement too risky in the past can now receive implants safely. This includes patients who are heavy smokers or who have serious health issues such as cardiovascular disease or diabetes. We work closely with your physician, when needed, to ensure your treatment will be successful.

People of any age can receive dental implants; the only exception being young persons whose jaws haven’t yet fully grown.

Benefits and Advantages of Dental Implants

Dental implants have many unique benefits and advantages that make them the best possible replacement option for missing teeth:
Dental implants

  • Dental implants with replacement teeth look and feel like your own teeth. Most of our patients can’t tell the difference between an implant-supported tooth and their natural teeth.
  • Implant-supported crowns have about the same chewing power as natural, healthy teeth.
  • Dental implants don’t require reducing other teeth, as a tooth-supported bridge does. Because nearby teeth are not altered to support the implant, more of your own teeth are left intact, improving long-term oral health.
  • Implant-supported teeth keep the adjacent teeth stably in position and prevent them from shifting into the gap left by a missing tooth. Teeth shifting can cause problems with your bite and ability to chew.
  • Dental implants prevent the bone loss that occurs as a natural process after teeth are missing. Preserving bone maintains the size and shape of your jaw, which also helps maintain a youthful appearance.
  • Implant-supported dentures are held stably in place, need no adhesives and have greatly enhanced chewing power.
  • Implants are the most durable of all tooth replacement options and will last many years. With good care, many implants last a lifetime.

High-Tech, Minimally Invasive Procedure

We use the latest in precision technology to make your implant treatment fast, minimally invasive and comfortable. This includes the use of advanced digital 3D imaging to precisely determine where your implants should be placed, and biocompatibility testing to ensure that the material used for your dental implant will be accepted by your body.

Learn more about our Dental Implant Treatment.

Dental Implants vs. Dental Bridges

Dental bridges have been the conventional method of replacing a missing tooth for a very long time, but they have distinct disadvantages. For one, the teeth on each side of the missing tooth have to be ground down so the bridge can be cemented over them. Those ground-down teeth are then weakened and are more vulnerable to fracture, decay or other complications at a later date. Additionally, dental bridges normally only last between 10 and 15 years.

An implant-supported replacement tooth does not require compromising any adjacent teeth. An implant-supported tooth also provides stimulation to the jawbone from the chewing pressure that is needed to maintain the bone volume around that tooth. This is something bridges cannot do. Additionally, dental implants last up to a lifetime if given proper care.

The Problems with Dentures as Replacement Teeth

No matter how well dentures are made, they can still have certain drawbacks that make them a less-than-ideal choice.

Dentures have minimal chewing power

Traditional dentures only provide between 10% and 20% of the chewing power of natural teeth, making it hard or impossible to eat all the foods needed for full nutrition without having to use a blender or mash up the food.

Dentures accelerate bone loss in the jawBone loss diagram

For the jawbone under the teeth to maintain its volume and density, it needs regular stimulation that comes from chewing pressure. When teeth are missing, that stimulation is gone and the bone gradually dissolves away. When all teeth are missing, the entire jaw loses height and thickness, and this eventually causes the face to have a “collapsed” look.

Traditional dentures put pressure on the jaw, but this is not the type of pressure that preserves bone. Pressure from dentures actually accelerates bone loss and facial collapse. Facial collapse brings about a protruding chin, thin lips and wrinkles around the mouth. And when bone loss gets extreme, it can actually lead to jaw fractures.

Implant-Supported Dentures Increase Stability and Chewing Power

When dental implants are used to support a denture, the biting and chewing power of the denture is significantly increased, because the denture rests stably on the implants. The biting and chewing pressure on the implants also stimulates the underlying jawbone and helps maintain bone volume.

Our doctors can provide strong, natural-looking dentures and full-arch replacement teeth supported by implants. The dentures can be made to be either removable or fixed onto the implants. Both types provide significantly enhanced chewing power. Implant-supported fixed-in dentures are the strongest option, as they provide the greatest chewing power due to their added stability.

Learn more about our implant-supported dentures.

To make an appointment, call (410) 324-6271 (Calvert), (410) 324-6370 (Annapolis) or click here to request an appointment online.

$79 Dental Implant Consultation

If you have broken-down teeth that need to be replaced, missing teeth, or are already wearing dentures, come see Dr. Schultheis for a Dental Implant Consultation and find out more about how dental implants could work for you. Your visit will include:

doctor showing patient dental implant model

  • Comprehensive oral examination
  • Digital X-rays
  • Consultation with the doctor
  • Discuss treatment options
  • All questions answered

A $279 Value!
*The $79 fee will be applied to your treatment.

To make an appointment, call (410) 324-6271 (Calvert), (410) 324-6370 (Annapolis) or click here to request an appointment online.