May 6, 2016
Losing teeth can be difficult for some people on an emotional level. You may feel embarrassed when you smile because people pay more attention to what’s missing than to you.
You may even feel a bit ashamed if your tooth loss was the result of poor oral hygiene. You might feel humiliated if you lost your teeth as a result of an accident of some kind.
In any case, it’s important to replace your missing teeth for your oral health and for your self-confidence.
Oregon Smile Care Center wants you to understand how dental implants can help you maintain your dental health. Implants can be paired with dental crowns, dental bridges, and dentures. Talk to our dentist in Salem, OR, to learn how.
How Implants Help Your Jaw
Losing a tooth doesn’t just affect the appearance of your smile. It can affect your whole mouth over time.
In addition to the visible gap between your teeth, you also have an empty space in your jaw. This is where the root of your missing tooth was once anchored in place.
The roots of your teeth and your jaw have a mutually beneficial relationship. Your jawbone, like the rest of the bones in your body, goes through a process called remodeling. As older bone tissue is removed, newer tissue replaces it to keep your bones strong.
The roots of your teeth encourage this process in your jaw. When you bite and chew, the roots press into the jawbone. This pressure encourages new bone growth. That new growth keeps the bone strong, and it helps to hold your teeth securely in place.
Without the roots, your jaw may not receive the stimulation that it needs. In fact, you can lose up to 25 percent of the bone mass in the parts of your mouth with missing teeth within 12 months.
As that bone loss increases, it can affect any adjacent teeth, which can make them more likely to fall out, too.
Dental implants are placed directly into your jawbone because they are replacements for the roots of your missing teeth. Like the roots, implants press into your jawbone to encourage new growth.
As a result of this, your jawbone will bond to the implant to hold them in place just like they did with your roots.
Supporting Your Remaining Teeth
Your teeth also are part of a mutual support system. Each day they make slight movements, but they remain in basically the same place because of the presence of the adjacent teeth.
If you remove just one tooth, the adjacent teeth may start to drift into the vacant space. This can cause changes in your bite and the alignment of your teeth. These can affect your ability to eat certain foods, and this too may increase your risk of losing more teeth.
A dental implant with a dental crown can fill in the gap. This can restore the shape of your smile and provide a similar function as your remaining teeth, which can help them remain in right places.
Keeping Your Dental Implants
Dental implants have allowed modern dentists to provide the most effective teeth replacements developed to date.
A single implant can be used to attach a dental crown to replace individual missing teeth.
A couple implants can be used to secure a dental bridge for someone who has lost multiple teeth.
And a series of dental implants can support a set of dentures. Believe it or not, someone with implant-supported dentures can regain their ability to eat all the foods that they love as their mouths heal from the implant placement procedure.
But dental implants are not magic tools that prevent bacteria and plaque from growing inside your mouth.
When you have dental implants, it’s just as important that you maintain a daily oral hygiene routine. Your crown, bridge, or dentures are not going to get tooth decay, but gum disease can have a big impact.
Gum disease can cause damage to your jawbone, which is why it can lead to tooth loss or cause your implants to come loose.
Getting implants can restore your smile, but it’s up to you to keep it.
Getting And Keeping Your Implants
Our dentist and our team want to do everything we can for our patients in and around Salem, OR. If you have questions about receiving and caring for dental implants, please call us at (503) 837-2718 or use our online form.
Oregon Smile Care Center is here to help you.