Missouri’s Best and Most Affordable Dental Procedures
Single Tooth Dental Implants
The average adult between the ages of 20 and 64 has 24.92 out of 32 teeth remaining. Though dentures used to be a popular tooth replacement option, dental implants are quickly surpassing the archaic apparatus in terms of benefits, longevity, and popularity.
Dr. Matthew Slaven and our team at ActOn Implants focus strictly on dental implant placement. We use nothing but the highest quality materials, all of which are USA-Made.
When you choose single-tooth dental implants in St. Louis, you will look better, feel better, and live an all-around better life. Say goodbye to speech issues caused by gaps, bone deterioration caused by tooth loss, and discomfort caused by an unnatural tooth replacement option.
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Life With Tooth Loss
As mentioned above, many adults don’t have all of their teeth. To be sure, an adult with a healthy mouth of teeth should have 32 teeth. Though several factors such as age, smoking, gender, and diet affect tooth loss, the truth is that the teeth become weak over time and eventually fall out. When this happens, a number of negative side effects begin to occur. Single tooth implants in St. Louis can help prevent the negative consequences of tooth loss and help you maintain a healthy, full smile for years into the future.
The greatest negative side effect of tooth loss is loss of confidence. If you have one or more missing teeth, you may feel self-conscious or embarrassed. Not only does tooth loss impact the appearance of your smile, but also, it causes speech problems. The gaps in your teeth may make it difficult for you to pronounce certain words clearly. They may also cause whistling sounds when you breathe or talk. Another common consequence of tooth loss is spitting while speaking. Each of these issues may cause you to feel embarrassed when out in public, or even prevent you from going out in public at all. Depending on your job, these problems may keep you from participating at work, which could hurt your employment.
In addition to speech issues, you may notice that the very structure of your face changes when you lose one or more teeth. All the components of your face and jaw work together to maintain your natural facial structure. Your teeth are an especially important component. Natural teeth are embedded in the jawbone, which is stimulated by your biting and chewing. When you lose teeth, your jawbone becomes less and less stimulated, which results in bone resorption. When the bone resorbs, the curves in your face begin to shrink, thereby resulting in the pursed lips, sunken cheek bones, and collapsed mouth characteristic of older individuals who wear dentures.
Bone resorption is not just bad for your appearance. It also encourages further tooth loss. As the jawbone becomes weaker, other teeth either move out of place or become loose as well. It is not uncommon for a single tooth loss to lead to subsequent tooth loss and, eventually, toothlessness.
As if a sunken facial appearance and speech issues are not enough, tooth loss makes eating difficult and uncomfortable. You may discover after losing even just a single tooth that you peruse a restaurant menu for items you CAN eat rather than those that you WANT to eat. This is no way to live.
Tooth loss should not discourage you from living your best life or eating your favorite foods. Thanks to single-tooth dental implants, it does not have to.
What You Need to Know About Dental Implants
Cosmetic dentists have been using dental implants as a tooth replacement option for over a quarter of a century, and more and more patients are opting for them because of their likeness to real teeth, comfort, and longevity. In fact, the American Dental Association shows that more than one million implants are placed every year, a number that will only continue to grow. So, what is it about dental implants that motivate millions of dental patients to shell out thousands of dollars?
Dental implants are permanent tooth replacement options. They utilize titanium supports that are placed where the missing tooth roots should be. The supports are then allowed to fuse to the jawbone through a process called osseointegration. Once the titanium support has fully become one with the jawbone, the cosmetic dentist fits a false tooth over it. The result is a permanent and natural looking false tooth that will not cause any of the issues characteristic of other tooth replacement options.
How Dental Implants Compare to Other Tooth Replacement Options
When it comes to tooth replacement options, you have plenty. You can opt for traditional dentures, partial dentures, or bridges. However, unlike with dental implants, which come with little to no pitfalls, each of the aforementioned options does have its drawbacks.
Dentures are removable appliances that merely sit atop the gums to give the appearance that there are teeth where there are not any. They are typically made from acrylic plastic or metal. Plastic dentures sit directly on the gum whereas metal dentures sit atop the remaining teeth. Dental professionals often refer to the metal dentures as “partial dentures” and plastic dentures as “full dentures.”
Dentures are uncomfortable, flimsy, and require the wearer to invest in a new set every 10 years or so. They rarely fit the first time and so require the patient to go in for readjusting. Even after a patient has had his or her dentures readjusted, however, it is not uncommon for the set to become ill-fitting over time.
In addition to not ever fitting quite right, dentures require suction, adhesive, and the muscles in one’s tongue to hold them in place. After a day of holding them in place, a person’s mouth is sure to become tired. Dentures also make eating and talking uncomfortable, if not downright unenjoyable. This is because dentures often sit on the roof of the mouth and, because they are not fixed in place as implants are, they tend to move around when one eats.
Finally, because dentures merely sit on top of the gum and do not provide any actual jaw support, bone loss will continue to occur beneath the apparatus. As a result, the wearer will continue to need to invest in new dentures as the old ones become loose and ill-fitting.
A bridge is an apparatus characterized by two crowns and a filler tooth or teeth. The crowns attach to the teeth on either side of a gap, while the filler teeth form the “bridge.” Like with a traditional dental crown, the crowns are bonded to the adjacent teeth to provide a somewhat long-lasting tooth-replacement option. While bridges are more durable than dentures, they still come with their fair share of downfalls.
For one, to install a bridge a cosmetic dentist would need to first shave down the supporting teeth. Once installed, those teeth would undergo constant pressure and stress as they support the would-be-tooth. This can cause those teeth to become weaker and more susceptible to decay.
Like with dentures, bone loss is not hindered by a bridge. Because the support is just a façade, the jawbone will continue to weaken beneath the filler tooth. Additionally, because it is next to impossible to clean beneath and around the margins of the crowns, plaque build-up is a common issue amongst bridge patients. Each of these factors poses a long-term threat to the other teeth.
Why Choose ActOn Implants
Just as you have a variety of tooth replacement options from which to choose, so too do you have several cosmetic dentists with whom you may choose to work. However, if you live in or near the St. Louis area, you should choose to work with Dr. Matthew Slaven and his team at ActOn Implants.
Dr. Slaven graduated from Washington University in St. Louis in 1998 and went on to attend University of Michigan School of Dentistry shortly after. In addition to the standard clinical work, Dr. Slaven joined forces with the research department and committed himself to learning about what it takes to use growth factors to promote bone formation. Once he earned his M.S.D. and a certificate in periodontics, Dr. Slaven conducted his master’s thesis. His thesis was a comprehensive survey of over 1,000 dental implants placed by the graduate department since 1990.
Dr. Slaven’s research and passion for regenerative procedures and helping others eventually led him to concentrate solely on dental implants. In 2011, he founded ActOn Implants, where he currently serves as the implant specialist for patients in the St. Louis area.
Credentials aside, there are several reasons that patients continue to choose Dr. Slaven and his team. For one, ActOn Implants uses nothing but the best materials. While some offices use zirconia, we use only titanium, which is biocompatible. What this means is that it closely matches the human body and therefore fuses to the jawbone fairly quickly. Titanium implants are also produced in two-piece systems, which allows for a customizable implant that solves the issue of low bone deficiencies. Even if you have already experienced significant bone loss, you can still reap the benefits of dental implants.
In addition to being made of quality materials, our implants are also affordable. We understand that tooth loss is not something that most people can anticipate and therefore is not something for which one can financially plan. Though implants are not a cheap tooth replacement option by any means, they are the best long-term investment. With proper care, implants can last a lifetime, whereas dentures and bridges need to be replaced every 10 years or more frequently.
Finally, ActOn Implants guarantees implant success. If your implants do not take – which is unlikely, considering we perform an extensive qualification evaluation prior to placing implants – we will correct the issue at no additional charge to you.
How to Choose an Implant Specialist
When it comes to selecting the right person to place your dental implants, the worst thing you can do is choose someone at random, or because he or she is “cheap.” Ideally, you should strive to work with an implant specialist, as an implant specialist has had extra training on dental implants and is more equipped to provide you with top-notch care. Moreover, specialists can lower the risk of complications, offer higher-quality aesthetics, and, if necessary, manage gum disease prior to placing the titanium roots. But, you may wonder, how do you go about choosing a specialist, especially if you have only ever worked with a family dentist?
For one, ask for references. Several family dentists in the St. Louis area are quick to recommend ActOn Implants to their patients. This is because we have built a reputation for quality, compassionate, and affordable care in the area. If your own dentist does not have any recommendations, ask your friends and family members who created their smiles.
As a last resort, refer to the AAID’s website. The site has a search tool that allows individuals to search for certified dental implant specialists within a set mile radius from a certain zip code.
Before agreeing to work with any one specialist, make sure that his or her prices are just right. Be wary of any specialist that offers implants at above or below the industry average. You should also read reviews on the specialist. Though you should check out the person’s website for patient evaluations, if possible, scope out reviews on third-party review sites, as these are often unfiltered and unbiased.