The Importance of Tooth Replacement
Just losing one tooth can throw off the entire oral health system as tooth loss leads to bone atrophy and leaves neighboring teeth unsupported. Patients missing multiple teeth face even greater risks to their oral health. Since many people who have suffered tooth loss feel incomplete, embarrassed of their appearance and might socially isolate themselves due to depression and anxiety, missing teeth impacts one’s emotional well being, as well. We understand that losing a tooth is a delicate emotional issue, however, we encourage patients to explore their tooth replacement options as soon as possible because bone can atrophy quite rapidly, and bone loss can affect a person’s candidacy for certain treatments.
Dental Implants, the More Natural Solution to Tooth Replacement
Most people who are missing a single tooth have had to choose a fixed bridge as their solution to tooth replacement. This option requires replacement once every seven to 15 years in order to avoid bone loss in the area with the missing tooth, and may require the cutting down of the neighboring healthy teeth in order to fit. With dental implants, you won’t need to worry about these issues because the fusion of the implant provides stability in the bone, just like a natural tooth would. Dental implants also add 10 to 15 years to the lifespan of prosthetic teeth.
Dental implants have an overall success rate of 95 percent. Whether you have gum disease, bone loss, or already have dentures or partials, dental implants can provide you with a simpler and more natural replacement for your teeth.
How Dental Implants Work
A dental implant replaces the lost roots of teeth. Overlooked by other prosthetics (which only replace the visible crowns of teeth), the roots of teeth are very important for maintaining healthy bone mass. Once a tooth is lost, bone is left unstimulated. Because dental implants are made from a strong and bio-compatible metal called titanium, the bone will fuse to it.
Only a few millimeters in diameter, a dental implant has a ridged texture that slightly resembles a screw. The implant is surgically placed into the jawbone. In time, the bone surrounding the implant will generate new tissue and integrate to it. As the implant stabilizes, a permanent prosthetic such as a dental crown or series of dental crowns (a bridge) can be attached to an abutment that slightly protrudes through the gums. Once the prosthetic is secured to the implant, a patient’s smile is beautifully restored with a very natural looking tooth replacement.
The Benefits of Dental Implants
Dental implants present unique advantages when compared to other tooth replacement methods. First, stabilized implants are very durable and long lasting. Unlike dentures, a dental implant can hold prosthetics firmly for decades, if not the rest of a person’s life. This durability is important for restoring oral function, too, because implants allow patients to eat a full diet of even difficult to chew foods. Dentures tend to become ill fitting over time while dental implants and the prosthetics they hold will not move during oral function.
In addition, implants are a low maintenance tooth replacement option. Unlike dentures, which require removal for cleaning or bridges that might need water irrigation underneath their crowns, dental implants are cleaned just like biological teeth. It is always important, however, to practice proper and thorough oral hygiene to protect the tissues that support the implant. If a dental implants patient develops gum disease, it can threaten the bone and gums that hold the implant in place.
Scheduling a Dental Implants Consultation
If you have suffered tooth loss and are interested in evaluating your tooth replacement options, we recommend that you schedule a consultation at a Dental Depot nearest you. Our team will answer your questions, provide patient education on the procedure and perform an oral examination to determine if you are a candidate for dental implants.
In the event that a person is not a candidate for dental implants, our staff will suggest other tooth replacement options such as bridges or partial dentures. Our team believes that no one should have to suffer the health and quality of life effects of an incomplete smile.