The chief goal of your dentist is to preserve your existing teeth. Unfortunately, this is not always possible. In cases where you have lost a natural tooth, getting a dental implant is a close second for a number of reasons.
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are a way of completely replacing a lost tooth. They consist of three parts: the implant body, the abutment, and the crown restoration. The implant resembles a screw. Implants are made of titanium and integrated within the jawbone just like a natural tooth. The abutment attaches to the implant body. The crown is either cemented or screwed into the abutment.
Dental Implants Prevent Bone Loss
The roots of your natural teeth are firmly fixed within the jawbone that provides a firm foundation so that your teeth can function correctly. Whenever teeth are removed or lost, this supporting bone begins to deteriorate.
Your dental implant will serve as a substitute tooth and function exactly as a normal tooth root would. This helps to stimulate and preserve the bone surrounding the implant, preventing bone resorption that would otherwise occur. Your new dental implant and jawbone will form a bond that provides a firm foundation for your replacement tooth that functions, looks, and feels just like your natural teeth.
A Dental Implant Protects Adjacent Teeth
Whenever you have a missing tooth, the underlying jawbone begins to deteriorate. Also, teeth adjacent to the empty space can begin drifting into this area. This causes some problems with the gums and the way that your teeth function and fit together.
Your dental implant will provide a substitute tooth that is artificial. This gives a stable foundation for the dental implant. The adjacent teeth do not need to be altered. Other tooth replacement techniques cannot replace the tooth root that is missing. This means that the adjacent teeth must be prepared for a fixed bridge. This is not a problem when the adjacent teeth already have large fillings or crowns. However, is there are no fillings or just a small one, then an implant is greatly preferred. If there is no tooth behind the missing tooth space, then a fixed bridge is not possible. The only other option in that situation is a removable partial denture.
Dental Implants Preserve Your Appearance
You may have noticed that people with missing teeth tend to have a sunken facial appearance. This is caused by the deterioration of the jawbone due to missing teeth. The only reason the bone is there is because of the teeth. When teeth are removed people start losing bone. If a person loses many or all of their teeth the loss of bone causes their chin to come closer to their nose. The bone connected with lost top teeth in the front is lost and their face develops a sunken look. The bone and teeth support your facial tissues and muscles. The effect of this loss can make you look significantly older than your actual age. It is a reason why those with dentures typically have sunken cheeks and thin lips. Your new dental implant will stimulate the production of healthy, dense bone in the place where the tooth was lost that allows you to look more youthful and healthy.
Schedule an Appointment
If you feel that you may need a dental implant, schedule an appointment with Dr. Zwier. Call our Grand Rapids office at (616) 229-3297 or request your appointment online.