Over the past few decades, implant dentistry has improved patients’ quality of life in ways our ancestors wouldn’t have thought possible.
We have come a long way since the days when hogs’ teeth were used as a replacement for lost teeth—if you could afford them, that is—or when patients had no choice but to live with missing teeth.
Today we use dental implants to replace one tooth, many teeth, or all of your teeth. What should you know when considering dental implants in Sudbury, MA?
What Are Dental Implants?
Out of all available dental prosthetics, dental implants look and function most closely like your natural teeth. There are differences, however. An implant does not have a root, per se. Instead, it is anchored in place by a titanium post that has been surgically implanted into your jawbone.
The topmost portion of the implant is the replacement tooth, which looks almost identical to your own teeth. The replacement tooth is permanently affixed to the metal post. Your Sudbury, MA dentist may recommend implants to anchor multiple teeth as part of a bridge, or to provide added security and comfort in conjunction with dentures.
Who Should Consider Dental Implants?
The ideal candidate for dental implants is generally healthy and does not have any major oral health issues. If you no longer have all of your teeth, implants can restore balance and function as replacements for teeth lost to injury, tooth decay, fractures, or gum disease.
Unlike bridges and crowns, dental implants do not compromise the health of your remaining teeth. Surgical implantation requires that your jawbone is sufficiently dense to support osseointegration, the process by which the jawbone fuses with the metal post.
Like your own teeth, dental implants require diligent oral care and hygiene. This includes regular dental checkups and professional cleaning.
Although your implant is not affected by tooth decay, poor oral hygiene compromises the health of your gums and jaw, which could damage the implant.
If you have certain medical conditions, such as diabetes or bleeding disorders, tell your dentist. These health issues can interfere with the placement, healing, and durability of your dental implants.
Smoking cigarettes increases your risk of unsuccessful implantation, so it is best to kick the habit before receiving implants.
How Do Implants Benefit Patients With Missing Teeth?
Patients with missing teeth report feeling self-conscious, anxious, and embarrassed when speaking with others. Implants improve the appearance of your smile, and the replacement teeth appear almost identical to the surrounding teeth.
You needn’t worry that others will know you have implants. The benefits aren’t only cosmetic, but functional as well.
When you lose a tooth, your remaining teeth are subjected to greater pressure, making them more likely to crack or chip. Implants also prevent loss of bone and minerals, and they enable you to speak clearly and chew your food properly.
Questions about dental implants near Boston, MA? To learn more about restorative dentistry, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Janice Spada, contact our Sudbury dental office at 978-443-3111.