A missing tooth has the potential to negatively impact both your appearance and your oral health. More and more dentists are turning to dental implants as a replacement option for missing teeth. It's important that you are aware of the ins and outs of dental implants so that you can better determine if installing one will help you address the problems associated with a missing tooth in the future.
What Are Dental Implants?
A lot of patients aren't fully aware of what a dental implant actually is.
Modern dental implants consist of two primary components. The first is a post that is inserted vertically into the socket of a missing tooth. The post is designed to fuse with the jawbone over time, which helps to secure the dental implant in place.
Implant posts are threaded to allow for the second component, the crown, to be screwed into place.
The crown is the visible portion of the implant. Crowns are handcrafted individually so that the one you receive will blend seamlessly with the color, shape, and size of your remaining teeth.
In order for a dental implant to be considered a success, both the post and crown must be installed without any problems.
How are Dental Implants Beneficial?
Dental implants can be quite costly, especially if your dentist must complete a bone graft to create an adequate surface area for the post portion of the implant to fuse with your jawbone. Although implant costs can be high, the benefits they provide far outweigh their initial cost.
Dentists are able to create implants that look, feel, and function like natural teeth. You will be able to replace a missing tooth with an implant, and no one will be the wiser.
A dental implant can last a lifetime when cared for properly. You don't have to invest in any special soaks or adhesives with dental implants, just engage in routine brushing and flossing to keep the implant strong.
Implants can also improve your oral health. The jawbone needs to be stimulated regularly to prevent bone loss. This stimulation is provided by the teeth engaging in chewing and biting actions.
Without an implant to replace a missing tooth, you could experience bone loss that might alter the shape of your face and compromise your oral health over time.
Can Anyone Get a Dental Implant?
Only a patient and their dentist can determine if a dental implant is the best option to replace a missing tooth.
Your dentist will determine if you are a good candidate by asking you a series of questions about your oral health. These questions can include whether or not you smoke tobacco products, if you have any disorders that could interfere with the healing process, and if you engage in good oral hygiene on a regular basis.
Your dentist will also conduct a thorough examination to check for any signs of advanced periodontal disease or other gum issues.
Although most people are good candidates for a dental implant, there are some factors that may prevent your dentist from recommending an implant. If you have poor bone quality, are a regular smoker, or are suffering from gum disease, an implant may not be your best option.
Each of these conditions can prevent the implant from fusing with the bone properly, which leaves the implant vulnerable to damage or total failure.
A missing tooth isn't a lost cause. You can work closely with your dentist to determine if a dental implant could be an effective treatment option for replacing a missing tooth. The more you know about implants, the better prepared you will be to discuss your options with your dentist in the future. Keep these tips in mind when looking for dental implant services near you.