Most people only think about the cosmetic aspects of missing teeth, but there are also serious oral health issues to consider. Each of your natural teeth is anchored firmly within the underlying jawbone tissue.
That tooth and bone connection stimulates the bone tissue each time you bite down. That frequent stimulation helps keep your bones healthy and strong.
When you lose one or more teeth, the jawbone beneath no longer receives the same stimulation. It can begin to break down and wear away in a process known as resorption.
The weakened bone can lead to issues with the surrounding teeth, causing them to loosen and eventually fall out. That creates a cascade of negative effects, including additional tooth loss.
Missing teeth also change the force of your bite, which can place undue pressure on the remaining teeth. You might also find your speech patterns changing as a result of missing teeth.
Dental implants are a treatment option that permanently replaces one or more missing teeth. Like your natural teeth, implants anchor directly into your bone tissue.
Once the healing process is complete, dental implants look and function just like natural teeth, including the chewing surface and the post that anchors to your jawbone.
There are many types of dental implants. Individual implants are used to replace one missing tooth. Other options can replace an entire upper or lower span of teeth. You can even choose a fast track to dental implants that restores your smile in just one day.
If you and your dentist decide that dental implants are right for you, the process begins with gathering digital imaging. These images play an essential role in planning your dental implant procedure.
On the day of your procedure, your practitioner will numb your mouth to keep you comfortable. An incision in your gum tissue allows access to the underlying bone, and a small pilot hole is made in the bone to guide the positioning of a titanium post.
The post acts as an artificial tooth root. A small piece called an abutment connects the post to the crown portion of the implant. Once in place, your gums form a tight connection to the surface of the crown, and your implant looks and functions just like the surrounding natural teeth.
If you’re ready to explore dental implants in greater detail, call the office to set up a consultation or use the easy online booking tool.