What are dental implants, and why would you need them? These are two very important questions that we are going to discuss. We are going to talk about precisely what a dental implant is, what factors might contribute to needing one, why implants are important, and how to take care of an implant after the procedure is complete. Let’s jump right into it.
What is a Dental Implant? Why Would You Need One?
Dental implants are prosthetic replacements for normal teeth. An implant replicates the function and structure of a normal tooth, which is composed of a crown (the visible part) and the root (the part that extends into your gums). Instead of having a natural root and crown, an implant has three parts:
• The visible part known as the crown
• The part that connects the denture to the implant itself knows as the abutment
• The implant which is inserted below the gums
The implant is made of a highly durable and gum-friendly titanium material which will gradually integrate with the bone tissue beneath your gums – this natural bonding effect will ensure that your new implant is stable and secure.
Three common reasons why you might need a dental implant:
• Gum disease which can lead to infections and destruction of important tissues in the gums and teeth, thus causing tooth loss.
• Physical damage due to an injury or accident.
• Finally, the natural course of aging in adults over 35 can cause tooth loss.
Now, let’s discuss what happens on a biological level when you lose a tooth, and how dental implants can help.
What Happens When You Lose a Tooth
The loss of a tooth can lead to a number of unseen effects. Of course, you have the visual problem of lacking a tooth, but there can be other less obvious problems:
- Bone Loss– After the loss of a tooth the special type of bone which used to support the tooth no longer receives the same physical signals from the tooth, thus leading to its disintegration. This disintegration causes the “caving in” appearance of that area (areas) and often bone loss on the teeth next door to the one missing.
- Drifting: When a space occurs between teeth they will often begin to drift into that space. This can cause problems chewing or unsightly spaces in between the remaining teeth as well.
- Extra Stress & Decreased Chewing Function: When a tooth is missing, the ones still there have to work more so you can chew your food. The extra pressure increases the chance of breaking and loosening of what teeth you have left. The space can also cause problems with chewing ability and even be painful on the gums when chewing hard foods like chips.
Dental implants help prevent all of these problems. That is why it is very important you seek out a qualified professional specialist to have an implant properly placed.
The Many Benefits of Implants
Dental implants are an effective solution to bone loss, drifting, decreased chewing function and the extras stress placed on remaining teeth when a tooth is lost. When you opt for a dental implant procedure, you are opting to restore your mouth and facial structures to a close approximation of their original form. As a result, you will significantly decrease, stop or even reverse some of these side effects of tooth loss.
Implants are an investment in your future oral health. And best of all you will eat, laugh, and smile with renewed self confidence.
Properly Caring for your Dental Implants
Finally – the procedure is complete, and your dental implant is securely in place. What happens next? In order to properly maintain your new implant, you need to know the best ways of taking care of it. Here is the good news: Due to the way that dental implants are created, they are made to be extremely durable and resilient. The crown of the implant is removable, so it can be replaced by your dentist if necessary due to damage without affecting the underlying implant.
However, you still need to do your part to keep your implants in tip-top shape. Keeping the gums and surrounding bone healthy is critical. You can best accomplish this by brushing your teeth at least twice daily and flossing at least once daily. You will also need to schedule regular visits with your dentist so that he or she can monitor the implants and make sure everything is going according to plan.
Are dental implants right for you? I invite you to call Ascent Family Dental and make an appointment to discuss all of your family dental needs.