When you lose a tooth, you lose both the visible crown portion as well as the hidden root structure. While the primary concern for many patients is undoing the effects of an absent crown on the smile’s appearance, the root structure is essential to your smile’s stability and your health. For this reason, dental implants are the ideal tooth replacement solution because they are the only devices that replace the root structure in addition to the crown.
After an oral surgeon places a dental implant in the jaw, the surrounding bone forms a strong bond with the implant, which is made of biocompatible titanium. That process, known as osseointegration, renders the implant as a permanent fixture in the jaw. Structurally, it becomes comparable to a biological tooth’s root and functions as such.
The dental implant helps to stabilize the patient’s jaw, which slowly withers after tooth loss when the root is not replaced, as is the case with dentures or dental bridges. This means that a patient who chooses dental implants should experience minimal, if any, changes in their facial appearance or the fit of their appliance over time. An implant-supported appliance typically can stay in place for decades if the patient practices good oral hygiene and gets appropriate follow-up care as directed by the oral surgeon.
Dental implants also preserve more of the patient’s chewing function. The physical link between the bone and the implant creates the capacity for the implant to tolerate relatively strong chewing forces, so few foods are off limits to dental implant patients. Of course, you should use common sense, as anything that can damage a biological tooth if you eat or chew on it can also harm a dental implant.
Are you considering your treatment options for tooth loss? Be sure to include dental implants on the list of interventions you explore.
Call us at Austin Oral Surgery to speak with one of our knowledgeable staff members to learn about the benefits of dental implants or schedule an evaluation that can help you determine if this is the right treatment for you.