How Dental Implants Can Restore Your Smile
Do you have a gap in your teeth that you notice when you smile? Were you playing a basketball game and took an elbow to the mouth and lost a tooth? No matter the cause, if you have missing teeth, you need to fill in the hole.
Missing teeth is more common than you might think. In fact, up to 178 million Americans are missing at least one tooth. However, the good news is that you have options to replace missing teeth. Dental implants can help restore your smile and protect the integrity of your mouth.
Causes of Missing Teeth
People can have missing teeth for a number of reasons, like:
- Gum Disease
- Tooth decay
What are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are a restorative dentistry option that allows patients to replace missing teeth with ones that look, feel, and perform like natural teeth. This means you can get that full smile again with teeth that look like the ones you were born with. Implants are the most effective, predictable, and longest-lasting option to replace missing teeth. Unlike a bridge, the implant allows us to treat only the tooth that needs to be treated; there is no need to involve other healthy teeth in the restoration of the unhealthy tooth. Whether you’re missing one tooth or multiple, implants might be for you.
Today, dental implants are considered the standard care for prosthetic replacement of missing teeth according to MedicineNet. These implants are surgical fixtures that are placed into the jawbone. Once in place for a couple of months, the implant begins to fuse with the bone. Essentially, the implant is a replacement for the root or a missing tooth. Due to this, a replacement tooth or bridge can be secured into place. This is the closest thing as you can get to mimicking a natural tooth, because it stands on its own without having to rely or affect the healthy teeth left in the mouth.
Does Getting Dental Implants Involve Surgery?
Yes, dental implants are a surgical procedure. Dental implant surgery, however, is usually an outpatient procedure so you can go home afterwards. It’s often done in stages, providing you with ample healing time between each procedure. Mayo Clinic describes the process in steps as:
- Removing the damaged tooth to make room for the implant.
- Jawbone preparation, which is grafting when needed. This occurs when a patient’s jawbone is too soft or not thick enough.
- Dental implant placement. During surgery, a cut will be made in your gums to open it up and expose the bone. From there, holes are drilled into the bone where the dental implant metal post will be placed.
- Bone growth and healing. Once the post is in place, the jawbone will begin to grow into it and unite with the surface of the dental implant. This can take several months, but it helps provide a solid base for your new artificial tooth.
- Abutment placement. When the healing is complete from the last step, an additional procedure might be needed to place the abutment, which is the piece where the crown will eventually attach. This is a minor procedure.
- Artificial tooth placement. Once your gums heal, more impressions of your mouth will be made. After this, a crown will be made, which is your new realistic-looking tooth.
The Importance of Replacing Missing Teeth
Missing teeth can happen due to gum disease, decay, an accident, or even genetics. However, no matter the cause, it’s important to replace missing teeth. Healthline explains that our teeth are supposed to work together. If you are missing teeth, the way you talk and your ability to eat could be compromised. Additionally, if you begin only chewing on one side of your mouth, it can cause problems in your jaw and facial muscles. Missing teeth can also change the shape of your face, your bite, and shift remaining teeth over. Not only is this bad news for your oral health, but it can also undo costly orthodontic work you might have had done in the past.
Replace Your Teeth with Dr. Ania
If you’ve been faced with periodontal disease, dental implants are still a great option to rehabilitate your mouth. If you’ve been wearing dentures, you can significantly improve their comfort – and your quality of life – by placing as few as two implants to support them. We’re here to help you have a healthy, full smile again that you’ll be proud to show off. Call our office today to set up a consultation: (303)-872-9940.