Losing a tooth as a child is an exciting thing that is one of many rites of passage into adulthood. Losing a tooth as an adult, however, is less likely to conjure up imagery of the Tooth Fairy and more likely to cause anxiety and stress over the change to one’s appearance and the possible financial burden of replacing said tooth. Luckily for us in the 21st century, scientific advancements in dentistry have come a long way since the days of wooden teeth or gummy grins. Even traditional dentures are becoming a thing of the past as more dentists and orthodontists lean towards dental implants as a more permanent, reliable solution to tooth loss. If you’ve been curious about dental implants, read on to learn some fast facts about this innovation!
They act a lot like teeth.
Unlike dentures—which fit over the gums and are removable by the wearer—dental implants are titanium posts that are surgically implanted in the bone beneath the gum line, similar to how the root of a tooth works. Your dentist is then able to fix a permanent replacement tooth onto this post without the fear of it coming loose like dentures may. The new tooth is held in place only by this titanium post, meaning your natural teeth do not need to serve as an anchor the way they would be having a bridge fitted.
Not everyone is a candidate for implants right away.
Most healthy adults will be able to benefit from dental implants, but there is a chance you may not qualify for them right away. Strong, thick bone is required to place the titanium implant and, therefore, healthy gums are essential. If you do not have strong enough bones, you may consider having a bone graft to strengthen the foundation of your jaw. Alternatively, some people find that their simply isn’t enough bone between the upper jaw and their sinuses to fit the rods, and a sinus lift may be needed to create space for the implants. Discussing various options with your dentist will help you make the right decision for your unique situation.
Implants need some TLC.
Just like your natural teeth, dental implants need to be taken care of to prevent damage, infection, or decay. Take care to avoid chewing on overly hard foods like hard candies and ice as these may cause the implant to crack or chip. Brushing twice daily and flossing regularly will also help keep your mouth healthy and your implants in top shape. Finally, smoking can weaken your bone structure and cause damage to your implants, so it’s important to quit smoking if you’re considering having them fitted.
Dental implants are a safe, natural-looking way to replace teeth that may have fallen out! With proper care and routine checkups with your dentist, they should provide the wearer with a lifetime of happy chewing and smiling.
If you have questions about dental implants, or to simply schedule an appointment with your dentist, give us a call at Fairview Dental Group in Westmont today!