The health of our teeth is something we often take for granted. In most cases, it takes a knockout blow to the mouth or a sudden outburst of pain to consider our dental health. The major concern after losing a tooth is that it can start a chain reaction in your mouth. Your remaining teeth can move quickly into the missing spot, causing misalignment between your top and bottom teeth. Your teeth may then also look and feel uneven and suffer from premature wear and tear. Whilst there are many options to consider to replace missing teeth, dental implants are a popular choice to restore the integrity of your smile.
What is a dental implant?
A dental implant is an artificial fixture that mimics the form of a real tooth. The natural root of the tooth is replaced with a titanium screw-like post inserted into the jaw bone which supports the fixture of an abutment and tooth-shaped dental crown.
Why would you need dental implants?
There are many reasons why you might be considering dental implants.
- An infection has caused the need for tooth extraction
- You have missing or severely broken teeth
- Your removable dentures or partial dentures often slip out of place
- You feel tired using adhesives, removing your dentures overnight, and maintaining good denture care.
Regardless of the need for dental implants, replacing missing teeth as soon as possible is always the best course of action to maintain good oral health, gain an aesthetically pleasing smile, and reduce the risk of further dental problems.
What are the benefits of dental implants?
Dentures and bridges are also a common solution for missing teeth; however, due to the technology behind implants, there are a number of reasons why more patients are choosing implants over other treatments.
- They allow you to eat and speak as normal since they look, act and feel like your natural teeth
- Unlike dentures, implants are a permanent solution to missing teeth without the need for removal or adhesive and are virtually indistinguishable
- Dental implants don’t decay like natural teeth which means they won’t form cavities or need fillings
- If a number of your teeth need replacing, implants maintain the integrity of your face shape, eliminating the risk of a sunken jaw or compressed chin
- Dental implants are also easy to care for. Much like our natural teeth, if you brush twice a day and floss regularly, you’ll have your dental implants for life.
Are dental implants right for you?
A consultation with your dentist is important to determine if dental implants are a suitable treatment for you. Whilst technology has come a long way, there are factors you can consider before booking an appointment.
- If you smoke, you might want to consider quitting or at least breaking the habit to allow the implant to fuse to your jawbone. Smokers are also susceptible to bacterial infections due to the effects of nicotine which can impact the success of dental implants.
- Bruxism is also a factor considered by dentists before treatment. If you clench or grind your teeth at night, this can cause damage to an artificial crown that sits atop the implant. Luckily, bruxism is easy to manage by wearing a nightguard to inhibit pressure and contact between teeth.
- To be considered for dental implants, you must also have a fully formed jaw. This means that children under the age of 17 aren’t suitable patients since the implant could affect the future growth of jawbones.
All things considered, if you’re in good health, have healthy gums, and strong jawbones, it’s likely you’re a good candidate for dental implants. Still unsure if they’re the right treatment for you? Contact our team at Gosford Family Dentist to discuss your options.