Dental implants are a missing teeth replacement procedure that has multiple benefits, from aesthetics to oral health. The idea of implants may be confusing to some: how do they work? How do they help? What if a missing tooth is not replaced? Without an implant, your oral health is at risk; with one, you reap the multiple benefits.
The jawbone deteriorates when you lose a tooth. Since the jawbone tissue no longer receives stimulation, bone resorption occurs. This process consists of osteoclasts breaking down tissues in the jawbone, which transfers calcium and other minerals from the tissue into the bloodstream. This causes the jawbone to become weaker and smaller in the area that has the missing tooth, creating a shrunken appearance in the face. This makes faces appear older. With a dental implant, the jawbone is protected.
Tooth loss also increases a person’s susceptibility to gum disease because bacteria can build up on the exposed tissue. Neighboring teeth around the gap can shift out of position. You may also not be able to eat certain foods if you are unable to comfortably chew with the gap.
Implants stop the jawbone resorption process, and if patients receive implants soon enough, then they may not even require a bone grafting procedure prior to the implant. A new tooth also prevents the other teeth from moving and keeps everything aligned properly. An implant serves as a full restoration for great all-around dental health.
The process of receiving dental implants typically consists of two appointments. For the first part of the procedure, a periodontist will place the titanium implant into the jawbone. The bone and tissue need time to heal, so the second visit occurs three to four months later. At this time, an abutment is placed over the implant, which connects the implant to the crown. There are numerous benefits to this procedure, but compared to everything else, you should really fill in a missing tooth to avoid the negative consequences of having a gap in your smile.
Do not wait until your oral health deteriorates. Contact the Springfield, MO office of Dr. Leo Tokarczyk to schedule a consultation, and we will make your smile as good as new.