A missing tooth can make you feel self-conscious due to the gap in your smile, but it can also cause issues for your dental health. Replacing a missing tooth is important to support your health, whether you lost the tooth or had to get it removed because it was severely damaged. Implants are durable artificial teeth that can either replace a specific tooth or act as anchors for permanent dentures. If you lose a tooth between your routine dental checkups, contact your dentist as soon as you can to discuss the possibility of getting a dental implant or any other treatment your provider may recommend. A dental implant can not only make a significant difference in your confidence in restoring your smile, but it also helps maintain your oral health. This type of tooth replacement offers many benefits.
How Does a Dental Implant Work?
A dental implant is an artificial tooth root. Labs construct them in titanium because this material is very strong and readily compatible with your body, which prevents rejection. Your dentist can use implants in either your upper or lower jaw. They use anesthesia during the surgery and the implant generally takes six to twelve weeks to properly fuse with your jawbone.
In the case of a single tooth replacement, your doctor places a dental crown to act as the part of the tooth above the gum line, during a follow-up appointment. Dental implants are permanent and comfortable solutions for missing teeth and with adequate oral hygiene, a dental crown can last up to fifteen years. You can care for your dental implant as you would for your natural teeth with daily brushing and flossing, and regular visits to your dentist.
Eat and Speak Comfortably
Missing one or more teeth can make it challenging to bite and chew normally, or to pronounce certain words accurately. Filling the gap with an implant can restore your speech and let you enjoy any food you like. Being able to eat and speak as you wish can have a positive impact on your mental health too because you feel confident when interacting with others.
Dental implants are sturdy and have the same bite strength that a normal and healthy tooth has. The titanium post anchored into your jaw offers excellent bite force, more than other tooth replacements can.
Maintain Your Teeth Alignment
When you have a gap between teeth, the surrounding ones may begin to shift position, which eventually causes misalignment and instability. A dental implant returns proper support to the adjacent teeth and helps preserve a straight smile. This can prevent teeth from loosening or even falling out in the future.
With the support it creates for your other teeth, the implant can also minimize the risk of gum disease and tooth decay. Maintaining proper teeth alignment also supports good positioning for your temporomandibular joints or TMJ. These muscles located on the side of your head play an active role in supporting your jaw. Without a dental implant, the gap in your mouth can lead to modifications for these muscles and results in TMJ disorders and the associated moderate to severe physical pain.
Your implant also helps maintain your facial structure thanks to how it helps proper teeth alignment. Just like natural teeth do, your implants can prevent drooping and keep your face more youthful.
Since your dentist secures dental implants into your jawbone, you don’t have to worry about slippage. Their design usually matches the look of your natural teeth. Only you and your dentist know that you have an artificial tooth. You can engage in any social activity you want, whether personal or professional, and feel confident about your smile.
Preserve Your Jawbone
If you don’t replace a missing tooth or use a prosthetic that only rests on the surface of your gum line, you lose stimulation to your jawbone, which can lead to deterioration. If your jawbone lacks integrity, this can lead to more dental issues, including nearby teeth shifting and possibly falling out. You could require bone grafting to restore your jawbone’s structure in the future if its loss becomes too severe.
By filling the gap with a dental implant, you ensure that your jawbone continues to get adequate stimulation once the titanium post has fully fused with it. This helps the tissues in your jawbones carry on with their regeneration cycle. This is vital for your dental and general health. A strong jawbone is also a requirement for additional implants you may need in the future.
When you get timely treatment and replace the missing tooth with a dental implant and a crown to restore your normal dental function, you can preserve your smile and your health.
Call Access Dental at (973) 358-6266 or use our online contact form to learn more about dental implants!