Tooth Loss Can Have Far-Reaching Effects on Your Dental Health

dental implants AnchorageThe loss of a single tooth can profoundly affect overall dental health. A tooth can suffer damage from impact or trauma, and if the damage is extensive, the dentist may recommend extraction. If a tooth is heavily damaged from dental caries (cavities), infection, abscess, or weakened from bone loss and/or receding gums, the tooth may require extraction or it may fall out on its own. The loss of a tooth, however, does not have to be permanent. With the innovative design of modern dental implants, the jawbone, gingiva (gum tissue), and adjacent teeth can thrive even after the tooth is lost.

In cases of trauma or injury, depending on the type of damage sustained by the tooth, the surrounding structures in the mouth may also suffer damage. Serious impact from playing contact sports, a vehicle accident, chewing on things that a person shouldn’t, or suffering a fall can result in a chipped or broken tooth, or even loosen a tooth within the jawbone. If treatment is sought immediately, the dentist may be able to save the tooth but in some cases the tooth is extracted to prevent further damage to the surrounding teeth, bones, and tissue.

When a tooth is infected, abscessed, or heavily damaged from a large cavity, its overall strength is reduced and the likelihood of the tooth breaking or falling out increases. To reduce the risk of the tooth falling out on its own, it is usually extracted if treatment becomes too complicated. Without a tooth to hold that portion of the jaw and gums, the body sees that space as less important and it begins reassigning resources to more important structures, like the remaining teeth.

Regardless of the cause, the missing tooth creates a vulnerable spot in the jawbone. The neighboring teeth will often start to move in an attempt to close the space where the lost tooth existed. Opting for a dental implant can preserve the jaw, gums, and adjacent teeth. The dental implant is surgically placed within the jawbone, serving the same role as the roots of the missing tooth. The crown attached to the top of the implant supports the adjacent teeth and keeps the bite balanced to prevent uneven impact.

For more information on dental implants, contact the office of Owen C. Mandanas at 907-276-5522 and schedule your professional consultation today.

Is the Dental Implant Prone to Cavities or Gum Disease?

dental implants AnchorageDental implants are designed to replace missing or damaged teeth, providing the look of a natural tooth but with enhanced durability due to the structural composition of modern implants. Modern dental implants are secured within the jawbone and have a custom-made portion that remains visible and resembles the original or missing tooth. This visible portion of the dental implant is the crown.

The crown of the dental implant is made to look just like a natural tooth, except this crown is incapable of suffering dental caries, commonly known as cavities. The crown of the implant is custom made for each patient and the implant dentist will ensure it fits properly and matches the rest of the patient’s teeth and mouth. This is especially important for functional chewing and speaking comfort. While the implant can break in extreme circumstances, it is designed to last a lifetime with proper care. Modern dental implants are actually stronger than natural teeth.

A natural tooth has a root that grows out from within the jawbone and a crown, which is seen above the gum line. Natural teeth are porous, which is why they stain from contact with things like coffee and tea, and they are susceptible to cavities and damage from exposure to various foods including sugar and acidic substances. When a tooth is damaged, lost, or extracted, the space left behind can weaken the jaw’s hold on the surrounding teeth. A dental implant reinforces the teeth around it, while providing a permanent replacement that functions just as well, if not better, than the previous tooth.

Gum disease is less common with the dental implants, although there may be some temporary inflammation or discomfort during the preparation and implant phases of the treatment plan. Flossing daily helps remove food particles from between teeth that can cause gum irritation and eventually lead to gum disease and other issues.

Proper brushing and flossing are essential for the maintenance of all teeth and gums, including dental implants. It is also important to maintain regular checkups with a general dentist for overall oral health as well as continued care of the dental implant.

For more information about dental implants, contact the office of Dr. Owen C. Mandanas at 907-276-5522 today!

Do dental implants require special care?

dental implants AnchorageDental implants offer patients a number of benefits, one of which is convenience. Not only does a dental implant look and function like a natural tooth, it also requires minimal adjustments to a patient’s existing oral care routine.

Because dental implants are directly linked to the jaw and require no additional support from surrounding teeth, patients can brush and floss dental implants just like their regular teeth. There are no appliances to restrict access to the gumline, unlike with a bridge.

Although dental implant patients can maintain a typical home oral hygiene regimen, they should alert the dentist and dental hygienist to the location of the implant. Dental professionals may need to adjust their techniques or use specialized instruments when cleaning or examining the teeth.

As is the case with any restoration, you should also use common sense when chewing or biting with your dental implant. Any hard item that could damage a biological tooth could harm the prosthetic that is anchored by the implant. Avoid chewing on ice or non-food objects, and don’t bite directly into hard foods.

Although dental implants do not require much additional care in comparison to natural teeth, they do require that the patient maintain the good oral hygiene habits that promote overall oral health. Brushing and flossing to limit the presence of plaque and tartar are essential, as the oral bacteria that cause gum disease can threaten the long-term stability of the dental implant. The dentist may recommend adding a mouthwash to further reduce the presence of bacteria.

The surgical procedure that the dentist performs to place dental implants also causes minimal disruption to a patient’s daily life. Patients typically are able to resume their normal routines within a week or so after the surgery.

Dental implants should not require much more care than their biological neighbors do. When planning for dental implant placement, discuss your post-operative routine with our dental team so that you will be prepared to give your dental implants the care they need for a maximum lifespan.

Dental Implants: A great solution to long-term issues

No one wants to just let their oral health slide downhill. Life happens, throwing curveballs that can leave us without enough options or information to protect our smiles. The result can be extensive dental diseases, tooth loss, or insufficient restorations.

While these situations are sometimes unavoidable, it is recommended that you take the appropriate steps to correct the damage as soon as you are able. For example, no matter the reason for your missing teeth, your dentist can offer dental implants as a solution that will enable you to avoid the long-term issues associated with tooth-loss.

The damage to your self-confidence is perhaps the most common long-term result of tooth loss. The change in the way that you look and feel can hit you harder than you might expect, and it’s a feeling that can be difficult to overcome. Many patients find that they are still self-conscious about their smiles even after they have chosen to have their teeth fixed! It’s an emotional issue that many patients greatly underestimate.

The structural deficiency that comes with missing teeth is best resolved with dental implants. In terms of risk vs. benefit, implants only strengthen your smile without compromising it in any way. The neighboring teeth will benefit from the additional support, and the jawbone will be stimulated by the presence of the artificial tooth root. No other tooth replacement features a replacement tooth root which transmits the natural sensations of chewing every time that you enjoy a meal.

Finally, even one missing tooth can result in a significant loss of chewing capacity. Each top tooth must be evenly paired with a lower tooth in order to process the foods that we eat. Without that dynamic relationship, the limited food choices and the reduction in chewing efficiency can have a long-term negative impact on your digestion and your nutrition.

For help in choosing the right solution to the long-term issues of tooth loss, contact the office of Dr. Owen C. Mandanas today to learn more about dental implants. Call 907-276-5522 to schedule a consultation.