Teeth can be lost from serious health conditions, such as cancer, or from a blow to the mouth during a baseball game. However, once a permanent tooth is lost, it is often best to have it replaced as quickly as possible.
Among prosthetic dental applications, a dental implant is closest to a natural tooth in appearance and functionality. Each dental implant not only replaces the crown of the lost tooth, but it also replaces the root.
When an implant is placed, it is surgically inserted into the jawbone of the patient. The implanted rod or screw, which is made of titanium, is drilled into the bone. During the healing process, the implant screw bonds with the bone through a process called osseointegration. This process occurs over a span of about two to four months and helps hold the implant firmly in place. An abutment and dental crown are then added to the implant so that the patient can chew.
Here are a few reasons to request a dental implant to replace a missing tooth:
Low Failure Rate
Dental implants have a low rate of failure. In fact, about 98 percent of dental implants are successful.
Still, there are avoidable factors that can adversely affect the success rate of an implant. For instance, although diabetic patients have a success rate similar to that of implant patients without diabetes, uncontrolled blood sugar can cause problems with an implant. Still, blood sugar can often be controlled with medication, exercise and diet.
Smokers also have a higher rate of implant failure. However, people who smoke can choose smoking alternatives, such as chewing gum or nicotine patches.
In addition, people who grind their teeth at night should wear a mouth guard to discourage the pressure from the grinding to loosen the implant.
Preservation of Dental Alignment
An empty space in your mouth can encourage your teeth to shift and become misaligned. However, dental misalignment can be avoided by allowing a dental implant to serve as a placeholder for adjacent teeth.
When a tooth is lost, it can cause the overlying soft tissues of the cheek or jaw to look hollow or sunken. This can make you look older. A dental implant fills in the gap left by a lost tooth so that those soft tissues remain supported.
Dental implants are permanent replacements for lost teeth. If you are interested in receiving a dental implant, schedule a consultation with a dentist in your area.