Dental implants are a treatment that offers you secure, natural-looking, and permanent replacement teeth. Find out how our experts at Thomas Family Dentistry can help to restore your tooth and smile with this procedure.
The Effects of Tooth Loss
From a cosmetic perspective, an unsightly gap in our smile because of a missing tooth is not particularly desirable. However, this is not the only negative consequence of losing a tooth. A missing tooth may make chewing food difficult, as well as altering speech. Losing a tooth may also make you look older as the skin around the mouth, which is supported by the teeth, sags. A missing tooth can also cause bone loss in the jaw, leading to erosion and collapse that may affect remaining teeth.
A Quick Guide to Dental Implants
Dental implants consist of three parts - the implant, which is typically made of titanium and inserted into the jawbone, the crown (false tooth), and the abutment, which joins the crown to the implant.
A single tooth may be replaced with one dental implant or multiple teeth in a row with several implants and a bridge. Dental implants can also replace all of the teeth in either the upper or lower jaw (or both) with the all-on-four procedure. With just four strategically placed dental implants, a complete arch of teeth is supported permanently and securely.
Benefits of Dental Implants
Dental implants are permanent and will last a lifetime with a good oral healthcare regime and regular checks with the dentist. Looking and feeling like your own teeth, they function in the same way so you can eat, talk and smile with confidence. If you take part in activities or sports where dentures could be a problem, dental implants provide the perfect solution.
Suitability of Dental Implants
Dental implant procedures are carried out by dentists who may be specialists in periodontics (gum health), implantology (dental implants), or oral surgery. You will need a consultation with an expert in one of these areas to assess your suitability for any dental implant procedure.
Generally, if you are in good health dental implants could be a feasible option. Some medications or medical problems may present a problem to the success of the implant procedure, which is why it is necessary to speak to a skilled implantologist.
If you have advanced periodontitis, where gum disease has progressed to a stage where the gum and bone around the tooth have eroded, it is unlikely the single dental implant procedure is suitable - simply because if the bone has eroded there is nothing for the implant to integrate with. Fortunately, there is an additional procedure called a bone graft, which will augment the bone in the jaw so that an implant can be placed, but it does require months of healing time before the implant procedure can be carried out.
If you are a smoker, this affects the body’s ability to fight infection and heal - both of which are imperative to the success of dental implant procedures. For this reason, many dentists will not perform the implant procedure on smokers.
Get in touch with us at Thomas Family Dentistry by calling 971-348-4244 if you would like to know more about dental implants and whether you are a suitable candidate for the procedure.