Missing teeth can have a big impact on your appearance, but that’s not the only problem you face. Tooth loss affects your ability to chew food, interferes with talking, and dramatically affects your overall dental health.
When you have a missing tooth, the neighboring teeth move toward the empty space. This creates a misalignment that affects your bite, puts excessive pressure on surrounding teeth, and leads to problems like cracks and decay in the remaining teeth.
If you’re getting ready to replace a missing tooth or teeth, you may be considering dental implants. The skilled team at Litchfield Dental Care in Litchfield Park, Arizona, is available to answer all of your questions. Here, we provide the basics about dental implants and reveal why they’re the best choice for restoring your dental health.
Dental implants consist of three key pieces: the implant post, an abutment, and a prosthetic tooth. Learning about these components helps you understand the process of getting an implant and how implants create a new tooth that looks and functions like your original tooth.
We insert a small screw-shaped post through your gum and into your jawbone, with the top of the post sitting just below your gumline. The post is specially designed to fuse with the jawbone as new bone grows around the implant.
This piece attaches to the top of the post and rises above the gumline. We attach the abutment after your jawbone has grown and bonded with the post so it’s ready to attach to your replacement tooth or teeth.
The final component is the replacement tooth, which we secure to the abutment. We can use one implant with a dental crown for each missing tooth, use two dental implants to hold a bridge, or provide implant-supported dentures.
These are the top three reasons dental implants are the gold standard for replacing missing teeth:
Implants look natural because your prosthetic perfectly matches the size, shape, and color of your natural teeth. Crowns are typically made of ceramics that have the same translucent quality of tooth enamel.
The post inserted into your jawbone fills the same role as your original tooth root, providing a strong anchor for your new tooth. Ceramics are very strong and capable of standing up to years of biting and chewing. If you’re replacing a missing molar, your prosthetic may consist of ceramic fused to metal or zirconia, adding even more strength.
You need the tooth root (the implanted post) to keep your jawbone strong and healthy. All of the bones in your body (including your jawbone), stay strong by regularly eliminating old or damaged bone and replacing it with new bone.
Your jaw doesn’t regenerate new bone if the tooth root is missing. In fact, without a tooth root, the jawbone begins to break down and diminish, a process that affects the surrounding teeth and can lead to more tooth loss.
A deteriorating jawbone also affects your appearance. You need a strong jaw to support the structure and shape of your face. As you lose the bone, you develop a sunken facial appearance.
Dr. Kim has extensive experience in implant placement and implant restoration. Please call us for a free special dental implant consultation with any needed scans and X-rays for the month of May 2023!
If you have questions about dental implants or need help for missing teeth, call Litchfield Dental Care or book an appointment online today.