When you have teeth missing, it can cause more problems than an unattractive smile. Gaps between teeth give space for the teeth to move in the jaw, which can result in an incorrect bite, crooked teeth and the loss of jawbone. Teeth act as the stimulation that helps maintain bone density in the jaw, and when teeth are missing, there is a 25 percent reduction in the width of the bone during the first year. Gradually, the height of the jawbone decreases over the years. Fortunately, dental implants are a treatment for missing teeth that looks completely natural and helps maintain the integrity of the jaw.
A natural tooth has a root that is connected to the tooth. Dental implants mimic a natural tooth with a titanium root and an implant crown. Titanium is a metal that will fuse with the living bone. Once it is implanted into the jaw, the bone will gradually grow over it just as it would a natural tooth.
It usually takes months for the bone to fuse completely with the titanium post. After that, the crown is attached. The time depends on the density of the bone at the site of the lost tooth. This is one reason why we often recommend considering dental implants soon after a tooth is lost because the bone density will still be at its best.
During a consultation with our specialist, you may learn if you are a good candidate for dental implants. It may require a complete exam of your teeth and jaw to make sure there is enough jawbone to support the implant. Even if the bone is deficient, we may have a bone regeneration technique that will improve the density of your bone, so you can become a good candidate for implants.
The success rate for implants is about 95 percent, which is the best in tooth replacement options. A dental implant looks and functions like a natural tooth and may last a lifetime. Some of the treatment options are:
• Single tooth replacement
• Several teeth replacement
• Combination solutions with fixed bridgework and implants
• Stabilization for dentures
• A stable anchor for orthodontics
• Temporary implants while waiting for permanent implants to heal
Unlike dentures and removable bridgework, dental implants require the same care as your natural teeth. They will never decay or require a root canal, and you can brush and floss as usual. You may still require regular professional cleaning to keep the gums clean and healthy.
Dental implants are a virtually permanent solution for missing teeth, dentures and bridgework. An unattractive smile may be the least of your problems if you are losing bone density in your jaw because you have had teeth missing for years. During an appointment at Implant Dentistry of Virginia, our specialist can help you determine if dental implants are your best option. Our office is conveniently located in Virginia Beach. Contact us today to schedule your appointment to learn more.