Why are dental implants necessary?
- May 12, 2017
- Keerthi Senthil DDS, MS
Have you been missing a tooth for quite some time? Do not let tooth loss affect your oral and overall health. Yes! A number of dental health problems can arise when you are missing a tooth. The condition can affect your ability to chew food thoroughly and increase the load on remaining teeth. Dental implants are considered to be one of the finest ways to replacing your lost tooth. They are widely recognized as the next best thing to natural teeth simply because of their functions and aesthetic benefits. So why wait? Make an appointment and meet our dentist at Rancho Mirage, CA to know if dental implants are the right restoration option for you.
What really happens when you lose a tooth?
Losing a baby tooth as a kid could be a happy thing to happen, but it is not the same with adult teeth simply because we do not get back another tooth when we lose a permanent one. The loss may have occurred from gum disease, tooth decay and accidental injury or from any other cause; the after effects are not very different. With periodontal disease and tooth decay, the condition requires immediate dental care since the remaining teeth may be at risk of falling out. So how does the loss of a tooth impact your oral health?
- Tooth loss affects your chewing efficiency which means more effort may be required to chew the same amount of food and there can be increased tooth wear.
- Tooth loss causes the nearby teeth to shift positions leading to malocclusion.
- Tooth loss may increase food lodgment in the gap increasing the risk of gum diseases.
- Tooth loss may also affect speech.
To address the above problems and improve the quality of life, patients may need a good replacement to lost tooth. Ideally, the artificial tooth should support the basic functions and maintain the aesthetics of the smile.
What are dental implants?
When a tooth is lost it takes the root along with it. The loss not only reduces chewing efficiency but also causes the bone underneath to shrink. Bone resorption occurs because in the absence of tooth root the bone receives no stimulation. Therefore it identifies no purpose and starts to shrink. Dental implants are artificial tooth roots that can prevent the bone from resorption. They are made of titanium or zirconium and are designed to become an integral part of the supporting bone. Dental implants act as a foundation for crowns, dentures or other forms of dental prostheses which replace lost teeth.
How is a tooth replaced using dental implants?
Any person can get a dental implant as long as he/she has a healthy supporting bone. The jawbone which supports the implant should have sufficient height and width. During the initial consultation, our dentist checks the oral health of the patient and makes a note of the medical history. Health issues like uncontrolled diabetes and patients who have undergone radiation therapy for cancer in head and neck region may raise concerns for dental implant surgery. We take X-rays to check the status of the supporting bone. On confirmation that there is enough bone to hold the implant in place, a treatment plan is set and explained to the patient.
Insertion of the dental implant in the supporting bone is done through a surgery. Our dentist starts with numbing of the surgical site. An incision is made in the gums and a series of drills are used to create a bony recess at the point where the implant position is planned. The dental implant is torqued in position and the gums are sutured back. An implant cap is fixed over the head and the implant is left to heal. The bone tissues around the implant form a functional bond with it in few months. This process is called Osseointegration.
On confirmation of Osseointegration, our dentist removes the cap and fixes an abutment over the implant. Impressions of nearby teeth are taken and a crown is fabricated in the lab. We check the fit and finish of the crown and bond them over the implant using dental cement. Once the lost tooth is restored using the implant, our team explains to patients how to care for the implanted tooth. With proper care, the implanted artificial tooth can last for decades without the necessity for repair.
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