If you have one or more missing teeth, you may be considering several tooth-replacement options. However, a dental implant is typically the most tooth-like option available.
Dental Implant Restorations Replace the Dental Crown and Root
During a dental implant restoration, the root and crown of a tooth are replaced. The crown, which is the portion of the tooth that is readily visible inside your mouth, offers aesthetic appeal and chewing capabilities. The dental root lies beneath the surface of the gums and offers stabilization and bone stimulation.
As a person chews or bites, pressure is applied to each tooth that is involved in the mastication process. The pressure is transmitted by the crown to the dental root. In turn, the dental root transfers the force to the jawbone.
The jawbone requires regular stimulation to stay thick and healthy. Without stimulating pressure
- from a tooth, an area of the jawbone may begin to atrophy or shrink. This reduction in bone
- density can cause multiple problems, such as the following: Hollowed appearance to the face
- Migration of teeth
Loosening of teeth within the socketsAlthough appliances, such as bridges, replace the crown of a missing tooth, they do not replace the dental root. As a result, they do not promote healthy bone growth at the site where the missing tooth once was.
Are You a Good Candidate for a Dental Implant?
If you are interested in receiving a dental implant, you may be concerned about whether or not you are a suitable candidate for the restorative process. However, keep in mind that dental implant restorations are successful about 98% of the time.
Already, more than three million Americans have dental implants, and that number is not declining. In fact, it grows by about a half million new dental implant recipients each year. Here are a few reasons why you are likely a great candidate for a dental implant.
You Don't Have Gum Disease
Gum disease, which is also referred to as periodontal disease, is caused by inflammation. Yet, the condition, which can jeopardize the success of a dental implant, is avoidable.
As bacterial acid builds up in the mouth, the substance irritates the sensitive tissues of the gums. In response, the gums swell, redden and bleed. These symptoms indicate gingivitis.
Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease. It can be quickly reversed by proper brushing and flossing.
However, as gum disease progressives, it becomes periodontitis, a severe form of the condition. Symptoms of periodontitis include gaps or pockets between the gums and the teeth. Bacteria can fill these pockets to incite a gingival infection, which can even be transferred to the jawbone.
People with periodontitis have a higher incidence of implant failure. Thus, your dentist will want your gums to be in a healthy state before performing your implant procedure.
You Don't Smoke
People who smoke have a higher risk of an implant failure. Tobacco usage increases the likelihood of certain conditions, such as peri-implantitis, which may cause a problem with a dental implant.
Peri-implantitis is a type of gum infection that occurs in the tissues surrounding a dental implant. As oral bacteria become trapped in the folds of the gums around an implant, an infection may ensue.
The gum infection may prevent the soft tissues from healing completely and connecting to the dental implant. In order to salvage a dental implant after the development of peri-implantitis, the infection must be successfully treated. Still, the gum infection can result in implant failure.
Smoking also impairs the flow of blood and oxygen to the implant wound. In addition, irritants in the tobacco may inflame sensitive tissues, delaying healing.
People who smoke should consider abandoning the habit before undergoing an implant restoration. If a smoker does not choose to quit smoking altogether, he or she should at least refrain from smoking a couple of weeks before and after the implantation procedure.
If you are interested in receiving a dental implant, contact The Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Center to schedule an appointment for a full assessment. Our dental professionals can let you know if a dental implant is right for you.