For those who may be missing teeth and are considering their options, you are in luck. Because of advancements in modern technology and digital enhancements, we can go above and beyond when it comes to the restoration of your mouth. Though it may be impressive that many dentures available these days look nothing like the chunks of fake plastic we remember our grandparents wearing, even with the authentic look of modern prosthetics, nothing can ever replace a natural tooth. However, Olympia Prosthodontics & Cosmetic Dentistry knows it can get pretty close, and through the use of dental implants, you can have a smile that looks and functions as well as the real thing.
HOW DENTAL IMPLANTS MAY BENEFIT YOU
When your mouth is missing a tooth, the bone structure goes through a degenerative process in the form of resorption. If your cells do not have anything to take care of, that energy is expended elsewhere. That means if you do not have a root, then the surrounding bone tissue around the socket regresses into your jaw. This can cause the bone which is connected to other sockets still containing teeth to weaken, which may make them inclined to shift into the vacancy. Eventually, your healthy teeth could loosen and then fall out as well.
A dental implant is a tiny piece of titanium in the shape of a bolt that is screwed into your jaw bone. It can be inserted right into an empty socket to create a replacement root for a missing tooth or can serve as a support for multiple teeth, such as a bridge. Through an incredible process called osseointegration, your cells have the ability to fuse with the titanium to create a solid mass. Once it is introduced into your jaw bone, the fusion begins and can take several months to complete. When it does, however, it can become permanent.
Dental implants can be accepted by your body as a replacement root and as such will continue to regenerate the area as though you had never lost a tooth. This can also allow your body to repair previous damage by building up around the implant, which should strengthen and restore the foundation of your jaw bone.
CARING FOR YOUR SMILE
It is often suggested that preventative dental care begins at home at an early age. Using a soft-bristled toothbrush and toothpaste with fluoride for added enamel strength are recommended. Flossing can seem like an imposition, but with the invention of plastic toothpicks with floss on one end, it can become an easy way to pass the time during a commute or commercial. A nutritious diet with few sweets and plenty of water can help keep your mouth in optimal condition.
Regular dental visits are essential to oral care regardless of if the teeth are real or fake. Especially if you have implants, we want to make sure the tissue stays healthy. We can keep an eye out for trouble areas and prevent something that could compromise your treatment. If we notice any potential issues, we can begin to fix it as soon as possible, which is why it may be a good idea to schedule more frequent cleanings than you would with natural teeth. It is important to ensure that your body does not reject the implant.
The longevity of your dental implants depends on the care you are willing to dedicate to them. The use of tobacco products, such as cigarettes or dip, could irritate the gums and prolong the healing process of your implants. Munching on ice could chip your crowns and add extra pressure, the equivalent of chewing on rocks, to your implant which may not be sustainable. This could cause them to bend or break and is likely to be quite painful.
With proper care techniques including brushing, flossing, healthy habits, and regular dental checkups, it is entirely possible that your dental implants can give you a smile that will last for a lifetime. For more information about implants and how they might benefit you, please give us here at Olympia Prosthodontics & Cosmetic Dentistry a call at (360) 456-1200 to schedule an appointment.