April 15, 2016
Have you ever seen a nature program about lizards? Many of them can regrow their tails if they are cut off or bitten off.
What does this have to do with dentistry? Keep reading.
People can’t really regrow limbs, but we can regrow other parts of our bodies. Our hair grows back (well, for most of us) after we get a haircut. Our fingernails regrow after we trim them.
But one thing that won’t grow back is our adult teeth. Once they are gone, they are gone … right?
If you have lost a tooth or are missing a tooth, Oregon Smile Care Center can’t make it reform inside your mouth. However, we can provide you with the next best thing — dental implants.
Contact our dentist office to make an appointment if you live in or near Salem, OR, or if you would just like to know more about dental implants.
What Is A Dental Implant?
If you are familiar with prosthetics, then you can understand what a dental implant is.
A prosthetic is a functional replacement for a missing body part. Some people have prosthetic legs or feet. Some people have prosthetic arms.
And some of our patients have prosthetic teeth.
To be more specific, dental implants replace the roots or the bottoms of your teeth. The roots are the anchors that hold your teeth in your jaw. Maybe it would be more accurate to say the roots held your healthy teeth in your mouth.
The crowns of your teeth are the parts that are visible when you smile or open your mouth.
How Do Dental Implants Work?
Implants work by imitating the things that your healthy roots do.
Your roots hold your teeth in place.
Your roots support the crowns of your teeth so you can bite and chew your food.
And your roots keep your jaw healthy by providing regular stimulation.
When you bite down on something, your roots press into your jaw. This stimulates the bone, which responds with new bone growth. This new growth keeps your jaw healthy and strong.
People who are missing teeth don’t get this stimulation in their jawbones. As a result, they can lose bone density. Over time, that can cause their faces to have a sunken in appearance.
Modern dental implants are made of titanium. These implants are placed directly into your jaw.
We use titanium because it goes through a process called osseointegration. This is a scientific word that means your jawbone bonds directly to the implant.
This helps in two ways. First, it holds your implant securely in place. Second, this allows your dental implant to provide the stimulation that your bone needs to remain strong.
What About Eating?
We haven’t forgotten, and this is what really separates dental implants from other tooth replacement options.
Every dental implant has an abutment on the end. This abutment can be used to support a dental crown or dental bridge.
Or a series of implants can be placed in your mouth to support a set of dentures.
For the sake of argument, let’s say you have lost all of your bottom teeth. You need to replace the complete arch.
If you choose to get traditional dentures, they will be sitting over your gums. You may be able to use an adhesive, but that may not provide enough stability to allow you to bite into a fresh, crisp apple or corn on the cob.
Implant-secured dentures are a different story. After placing a series of implants in your mouth, we can attach a set of dentures to the implants.
This makes your dentures more secure and more stable. Studies have proven that dental implants can restore close to if not all of your original bite force. This means you would be able to bite into that apple or that corn on the cob without any worries that your dentures will pop out.
Ideally, you won’t need a full set of dentures. If you lose a single tooth or have a tooth knocked out, replacing it with a dental implant and a dental crown is your best option. This duo will restore your ability to eat the foods that you love and restore your smile at the same time.
Want To Learn More?
If you are missing a tooth, multiple teeth, or a complete arch of teeth, we welcome you to talk to us about the ways dental implants could help you. Our dentist office is located in Salem, OR, as we are open Monday through Thursday.