Tooth loss is still a common problem in the United States despite advancements in dental care. Most people lose one or more teeth due to tooth decay, periodontitis, or injuries. Regardless of the cause, tooth loss alters your appearance and may affect your self-esteem. Dentures and bridges were the only available treatment options for tooth loss for many years. Today, oral surgeons recommend Houston dental implants for individuals with one or more missing teeth.
What are dental implants?
Dental implants are metal, screw-like posts made of titanium that replace missing tooth roots. They look and function much like your natural roots. Specialists recommend dental implants since they are a better alternative to bridgework and dentures, which may not fit well. Here are the advantages of dental implants.
Dental implants eventually become a part of you, like the metal fuses with your jawbone. Therefore, they eliminate the discomfort you would have otherwise experienced with removable dentures.
Having removable dentures can be stressful, especially in social settings. You may always feel conscious and worry about them falling off. Fortunately, dental implants eliminate the embarrassing inconvenience as they are firmly implanted in your jawbone.
- Prevents bone loss
The jawbone requires stimulation to maintain its mass. That naturally occurs due to the force that gets to your roots when you chew food. However, when you lose teeth, you also lose stimulation, resulting in bone loss. Dental implants are the only replacement option that also restores jaw stimulation.
- Easier eating
Having missing teeth limits the type of foods you can eat. For example, you may only restrict your diet to soft foods such as mashed potatoes, posing a nutrition challenge. Unlike other tooth replacement options, dental implants restore your bite force, meaning you can bite with more or less force you could use with your natural teeth.
Who is a good candidate for dental implants?
People healthy enough to undergo routine dental extraction or oral surgery are considered suitable for dental implants in most cases. Good candidates also need to have enough bone structure to support the implant. Your oral surgeon may recommend bone grafting before implant placement if you have inadequate jaw bone. Patients with health problems that impede healing, such as diabetes, are not preferred candidates for implants.
Your specialist may also advise against implants if you smoke or have dental problems such as cavities and gum disease. For this reason, you should always consult with your doctor to confirm your eligibility for dental implants.
How safe are dental implants?
Dental implants require surgery for placement, which has its dangers like any other surgical procedure. Although rare, dental implant surgery can result in an infection at the implant site. If the implant is placed in your upper jaw, there is a possibility that it can protrude into one of your sinus cavities, causing sinus problems. Surrounding structures such as blood vessels and nerves can get damaged during surgery. These problems are rare and, if they occur, can be easily treated.
If you want a better tooth replacement option, schedule an appointment with your oral surgeon at Jeffrey Busch, DDS to get dental implants.