While losing a tooth impacts your smile's functionality and appearance, you do have a great option to replace it. A dental implant from 4 Dental Health in Layton, UT restores normal appearance, biting, chewing and speech. Also, this artificial tooth improves jaw bone density. Learn more about dental implants from your experienced dentist, Dr. Steven Christensen.
What happens when you lose a tooth?
Besides creating an embarrassing smile gap, losing one or more teeth impacts your oral health. Remaining teeth actually weaken as they drift into the empty space. Supporting gum tissue and bone begin to recede almost immediately. In fact, a full 25 percent or more of bone density degrades within the first year after a tooth is lost to infection, decay, gum disease or oral injury.
In addition, when more teeth or even all teeth are lost, facial appearance ages dramatically, and edentulous people do not eat well or speak clearly. While conventional dentures and bridgework help restore smile aesthetics, they do not repair the loss of bone or soft tissue because these prosthetics only set on top of the gums.
The benefits of dental implants
A dental implant is today's best artificial tooth. It has three parts: a titanium root which resides in the jaw under the gums, a metal alloy abutment (extension post) and true to life dental crown crafted from resilient and color-matched porcelain.
Dental implants adhere to the jaw bone, creating an excellent foundation for the exposed portions of the artificial tooth. In fact, they improve the density, size and width of the supporting bone through a miraculous process dentists call osseointegration.
Other benefits of dental implants are:
- A comfortable oral surgery and restoration process
- The versatility of use (implants can support fixed bridgework and even full dentures)
- Biocompatibility (rejection or allergic reactions are very rare)
- Amazingly natural appearance
- Longevity (a decades-long lifespan)
Dental implant care
As dental implants are not real teeth, they cannot get cavities. However, gum tissue and underlying bone can develop gum disease--peri-implantitis--if you do not carefully brush and floss every day and get your semi-annual hygienic cleanings (and exams) with Dr. Christensen.
Peri-implantitis causes inflammation at the implant site and also mobility of the implant itself, reports the Dental Research Journal. Tobacco usage encourages this devastating infection, too; so getting an implant may be the best time to quit smoking.