Tooth loss can occur due to many reasons, right from poor oral health to accidents and injuries that knock them out. While there are many solutions available for tooth replacement these days, dental implants are often considered the best choice, simply because of the amazing benefits they offer.
What is a Dental Implant?
To be able to understand what a dental implant is, let’s first look at the general makeup of an actual tooth. Teeth mainly contain two sections – the visible part (crown) and the embedded part (root).
An implant is not actually a replacement tooth, but rather a replacement for the root part of a tooth. It’s a small, screw-like titanium post that is surgically embedded against your jaw bone, to provide a strong, secure and permanent base for an artificial tooth.
Dental Implant Advantages
Implants are a relatively new trend in the field of restorative dentistry, but they’re quickly gaining support from dental health professionals and patients alike.
Here are some of the main benefits of a dental implant:
- It provides the same aesthetic appeal and functionality as your natural teeth
- It offers a secure and immovable base for dental crowns, bridges and dentures
- It doesn’t need support from adjoining teeth, unlike traditional solutions (bridges)
- It won’t come loose like dentures do, or need removal for cleaning and care
- It can be used to replace one or more teeth, or even for full-mouth restoration
Why Do Missing Teeth Need to Be Replaced?
There are many reasons why tooth loss should be treated early. For instance, when you smile or talk, a missing tooth can make you feel self-conscious and seriously undermine your confidence. Adjoining teeth can also start to move into the gaps left behind, making them crooked and increasing the strain on the rest of the teeth in your mouth.
These alignment issues can lead to difficulty in chewing, speech, and cleaning plaque buildup from teeth. This puts you at risk of oral health problems like gum disease, tooth decay, bad breath and more. Over time, loss in bone density also occurs if a missing tooth isn’t replaced, affecting your facial structure, speech and mouth health.
How Do Dental Implants Work?
Traditional tooth replacements focus only on the “crown” part of missing teeth, neglecting the “root” and resulting in bone loss. This can cause dentures to shift or damage the health of bridge-supporting teeth. A dental implant helps to prevent bone loss by supporting and strengthening the jaw bone before a replacement tooth is put in place.
The procedure for fitting dental implants is conducted under a local anesthetic, and the process of osseointegration (fusing with the natural jaw bone) starts once they are fitted. After about six months, when the implants have meshed with the bone completely, an artificial tooth (crown, denture or implant-supported bridge) can be attached.
Age does not affect your suitability for implants, but your oral health does. There should be enough bone density in the jaw to support the implant. If not, you may need a bone graft before the procedure can be performed. Gums also need to be healthy, since inadequate or infected supporting tissue will affect the success of implant surgery.
What is the Best Way to Care for Dental Implants?
Implants are long-term solutions (they do not decay), but you need to care for them as you would your natural teeth. With proper fitting and care, they can last you for life. Make sure you brush your teeth twice a day, and clean between the implants while flossing too. Visit your dentist for regular checkups and guidance on proper oral hygiene and implant care.
If you’re missing one or more teeth, an experienced implant specialist can determine if this is the ideal treatment option for you. Don’t wait, book your consultation with Dr. Patel at All About Smiles clinic now!