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Tooth loss isn’t something that many people think about until it actually happens to them. This may start with you noticing that one of your teeth seems loose, or with our dentist telling you that you have a tooth that is so badly affected by dental decay or damage that extraction is unavoidable.
Tooth loss has both physical and psychological effects. Depending on the location of the tooth that is to be removed, your first worries might be for the appearance of your smile. Alternatively, you might be more concerned with how the gap in your teeth might affect your ability to bite and chew.
Fortunately, dental implants can be used to replace missing teeth and restore both the look and function of your smile.
Dental implants are one of the newest and most effective solutions for tooth loss in the last half century. They have a completely unique design which comprises of two key parts. These are a titanium post and a prosthetic tooth that is usually made from a porcelain crown.
In the case of single implants, each implant post is inserted into the jaw bone directly beneath the gap in your smile. This is done by our dentist drilling a tiny hole into the jaw via the gum. Once the implant post is placed, the bone and gum will grow back around it, anchoring it permanently in place. This process, known as osseointegration, can take a number of months and during this time you will be fitted with temporary prosthetics. These are attached to the titanium post, which protrudes through the top of the gum. Once our dental implant surgeon is happy that the implants are secured, the final, custom-designed crowns can be fitted.
Dental implant technology can also be used to create bridges, partial and full dentures. In these instances, it is normally possible to position your dental device on fewer implant posts.
Dental implants are necessary for those patients who have missing teeth, but are considered unsuitable for conventional crowns, bridges or dentures. There may be many reasons why more traditional restorations may not work. For example, a patient may be deemed unsuitable for bridgework because the teeth needed to support the bridge are not strong or healthy enough.
Closing a gap in your smile is also necessary to ensure that your mouth continues to function as it should. Dental implants will support your bite and help ensure that your jaw bone doesn’t deteriorate with age. Dental implants will also keep each tooth properly in place and prevent them from shifting to take advantage of the space. If this happens, further small gaps can open between the teeth. This could put you at greater risk of developing tooth decay.
In addition, there are also a number of benefits associated with dental implants that are contributing towards making them the preferred choice for many patients facing tooth loss. These include:
- Permanence. If fitted properly, dental implants should be a permanent solution.
- Durability. With proper care, dental implants can last you upwards of twenty years.
- Discretion. Dental implants don’t slip and move around and look just like a natural tooth.
- Convenience. You can eat whatever you like without needing to worry that your implant will pull out. There is also no need or way to remove them for cleaning.
- Comfort. Patients with dental implants say that they feel completely natural, and they soon forget that it is not their original tooth.
- Low maintenance. Once your treatment is complete, you will only need your implant checked at your regular dental appointments.
- Confidence. Filling the gap in your smile with an attractive, discreet prosthetic tooth will give you greater confidence and self-esteem.
If you are interested in finding out more about dental implants, our experienced team will be happy to share their knowledge with you. Please do not hesitate to contact our offices.