As your dentist in Gilbert, I like to think of myself as more than a doctor. I like to think of someone that helps you to improve your smile.
More Than Just Cosmetic Dentistry
Losing teeth is not something to relish. The loss of a tooth can have many consequences, and not just cosmetic ones. In addition to affecting your smile, your remaining teeth may shift to close the gap left by the missing tooth. Your teeth can also weaken because there are less teeth to use when eating. In other words, your remaining teeth have to work harder. Tooth loss can also cause chewing difficulties, jaw problems and bone loss.
The bones that surround your teeth need to be stimulated in order to maintain their shape and density. This stimulation comes from your teeth. When you lose a tooth, the decrease in stimulation causes the bone to decrease in height and width. The more teeth that are lost, the more oral problems you will have.
You obviously want to prevent tooth loss as much as you possibly can as a result. But what if you can’t. What if, after all the brushing and flossing and regular dental exams, you’re unable to stop the loss of your teeth? That’s where a solution such as implants or a solution like bridges come into play. But what about dental implants?
Dental implants are one way to prevent tooth loss. First, a small screw made of titanium (a lightweight, extremely strong metal that is corrosion-resistant) is placed into the jawbone. The screw becomes the roots for the new tooth.
Once implanted, the jawbone and screw fuse together. This stabilizes the area and prevents bone loss. The implant also keeps the jawbone’s shape and density intact, which supports other facial bones as well as the gums, cheeks and lips. The fusion process can take from two to six months to complete. An abutment is also attached to hold the dental crown in place. Crowns are the parts of teeth that you see in a mouth. The dental crown used in a dental implant will be customized to match your other teeth. To keep it in place, the crown will either be cemented or screwed into the abutment. When there is an inadequate amount of bone for the posts (or the bone is too soft) another surgical procedure called “bone grafting” may be necessary. Bone grafting involves the placement of new bone tissue in the implant area, where it regenerates.
So remember. Fight tooth loss. But if you’ve lost tooth, don’t keep your mouth closed when you smile. Instead, call your dentist in Gilbert.
Gilbert Vista Dental Care
2451 East Baseline Road #210
Gilbert, AZ 85234