Dental implants: what replacing a missing tooth means for you
Restore your smile and maintain your oral health with dental implants in Thousand Oaks
When you lose a tooth much more is affected than just the appearance of your smile. One tooth lost also affects your jaws, gum and remaining teeth. By replacing just one tooth you can look after your remaining teeth as well as your ability to chew and speak. Why? When you lose a tooth, jawbone starts to dissolve, gums start to recede, and teeth on either side of the gap start to shift in order to cover the gap. Crooked teeth also adversely affect your gums as well as throwing off your bite (misaligned bite). A misaligned bite can cause headaches, neck and back pain. Just think: all of this could—potentially—be avoided by replacing one tooth with a dental implant.
Dental implants: what’s involved
While treatments like dental bridges and traditional dentures only replace the crown of your tooth, dental implant treatment replaces the whole tooth. The dental implant replaces the tooth root: this is made from biocompatible metal that will, over 3 months, fuse with your jawbone. Once this fusion has taken place, the next stage of treatment will commence. The next stage is for an abutment to be attached to the dental implant and the gums sewn closed. Once your gums have healed and the dental crown or bridge is ready, it will be attached to the abutment and you will have a whole tooth.
Replace one tooth and help to keep the rest
Did you know that gum disease is the leading cause of adult tooth loss in America? The latest research from American Dental Association says that as many as 64% of Americans will have no natural teeth by the time they are 70. 64%! That’s scary. Better oral hygiene and dental education can play a big role in patients keeping as many of their natural teeth as possible. And by replacing one missing tooth you have the potential to help maintain your other healthy teeth.
Dental implants can last a lifetime provided you look after your oral health. However, while the dental implant may last a lifetime, the dental crown, bridge or denture attached to the dental implant will usually only last 10-15 years depending on how well you look after your oral health.