For anyone who suffered a lost tooth, the adverse effects it can have on their smile can be quite significant, leading to a drain in self-confidence and a reluctance to laugh or smile.
Missing teeth can, however, also affect the general health of a person’s mouth, and can eventually lead to further tooth loss. Tooth implant treatments, performed by an oral surgeon, can help to minimize the effects of a lost tooth, and in the case of dental implants, even prolong oral health.
Part of a natural tooth’s structure is the root; the root of a tooth intertwines with the gum tissue and jaw bone, helping with blood flow to and from the tooth, and providing stimulus to help the gum tissue and jaw bone growth, and to remain healthy. When a tooth is lost, the root is also lost, and as a consequence, so too is the stimulus the root provides.
With no stimulus from the root, the gum tissue begins to recede and the quality and quantity of jaw bone begins to erode and lessen. This is not a localized occurrence, however, and can spread throughout the dental arch, potentially leading to further tooth loss.
Dental implants help prevent the degradation of gum tissue and jaw bone through the use of a small titanium rod that the oral surgeon uses to mimic the function of the tooth’s root. The titanium bonds itself to the jaw bone in a process called osseointegration, which helps to provide support to the rest of the tooth implant.
In addition to the support it brings, osseointegration also allows the titanium rod to provide the necessary stimulus required to promote healthy gum tissue and jaw bone, helping to preserve the health of surrounding teeth.
A dental crown is affixed onto the titanium rod. The crown can be shaped and shaded to match the patient’s existing teeth, and functions as a normal tooth would. The crown allows for full enjoyment of foods by helping to maintain bite strength, and to prevent tooth shift to help preserve biting patterns. The crown also aids in the formation and pronunciation of speech, which can be compromised and altered when teeth are lost.
Dental implants need only be cared for in the same fashion as natural, healthy teeth. Regular brushing, flossing and dental visits are all that’s required to maintain the function of the tooth implant, which looks and functions just as a natural tooth would.
To find out if you are a candidate for dental implants, contact The Center for Oral Surgery of Las Vegas Nevada today to schedule your professional consultation.