Missing teeth can negatively affect the attractiveness of your smile. However, they can also present additional dental health issues. Many dentists suggest dental implants to help restore lost teeth.
Dental implants alone do not complete the restorative treatment. Implants are titanium rods or screws that serve as man-made tooth roots. Like the natural roots of a tooth, they lie beneath the surface of the gums and are firmly attached to the jawbone.
When the dentist inserts an implant into the bone of the jaw, a healing process called osseointegration begins. During this process, new bone cells form around the implant, holding the device securely in position. Osseointegration occurs over the course of several months. Once osseointegration is complete, the implant can provide a strong foundation for false replacement teeth.
Implants are considered permanent and rarely suffer failure. Moreover, dental implant-based restorations tend to feel comfortable in the mouth. In fact, they are likely to feel just like natural teeth. Most importantly, an implant's functionality is like that of a natural tooth.
Natural teeth, when kept healthy, can promote good overall oral health. Implants can also help you preserve your oral health. Here are two dental health issues that the placement of dental implants can help you avoid.
The teeth are placed close together in the mouth. However, when one tooth is missing, the resulting space leaves extra room for nearby teeth to migrate from their original positions. Consequently, teeth that were in a straight configuration prior to the loss of a tooth may become misaligned.
If a dental implant is placed soon after the loss of a tooth, there is not enough time for the remaining teeth to migrate. As a result, avoiding a delay in scheduling your dental implant restoration can help preserve your current dental alignment.
The jawbone maintains its thickness through regular stimulation. As you chew, the pressure from each bite is transmitted from the teeth to the jawbone. This pressure stimulates the production of new bone cells. However, when a tooth is missing, no bite pressure is transferred to the associated area of the jawbone. The bone at the site of the tooth loss may begin to shrink.
Dental implants transfer bite pressure as effectively as the roots of a natural tooth, encouraging the development of new bone cells and preserving the jawbone's health.
To learn more about dental implants, schedule a consultation with a dentist in your local area.