According to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, 69 percent of adults between the ages of 35 and 44 have lost at least one of their natural teeth. By the age of 74, over a quarter of adults are missing all of their teeth. Bridges and dentures were the only treatments for missing teeth in years past, but today’s patients have an exciting alternative in the form of dental implants. Unlike dentures and bridges, dental implants are permanent replacements for your missing teeth. First, Dr. Wilcox, will place a titanium implant directly into your jawbone. This implant becomes a permanent part of your bone structure and replaces the root of the missing tooth in a process called osseointegration. Then a dental crown is placed over the implant, providing a natural looking prosthetic tooth. Dental implants enjoy a 95 percent success rate and are backed by nearly half a century of research. Candidates should be in generally good health and free of gum disease, and patients should be nonsmokers or willing to quit. If you’re ready to discover how dental implants can restore your natural smile, please contact Desert Smiles today to schedule a consultation. Dr. Wilcox serves patients in the Scottsdale, Arizona area.