Dental implant surgery is the optimal solution for tooth loss. Implanted teeth are nearly identical to natural teeth, and they’re permanent. With proper care, they should never require replacement.
What you may not realize about dental implant surgery is that it also helps ward off future tooth loss. How can replacing one missing tooth prevent you from losing others?
Here’s What Happens When You Lose a Tooth
When you lose a tooth, you experience these changes:
- Your jawbone begins to degrade, as the tooth roots are no longer there to stimulate growth.
- The adjacent teeth shift to fill the empty space, as they don’t have the support they need to maintain the proper position.
- Your bite becomes misaligned, causing difficulty with eating and increasing your risk of developing jaw joint problems.
- Your face begins to look aged and sunken as a result of ongoing bone loss in the jaw.
As the mouth changes, maintaining good oral hygiene becomes more difficult. That, combined with jawbone degradation, can cause your remaining teeth to loosen. So if you choose to leave a gap in your smile, you face a significantly higher risk of future tooth loss.
How Dental Implant Surgery Prevents These Problems
Dental implants help eliminate the problems you would ordinarily face after tooth loss and makes the risk of future tooth loss less likely — but how?
An implanted tooth has three parts: the crown (the visible portion) a connector piece called an abutment and a titanium post. The post acts as a replacement tooth root, stimulating bone growth in the jaw.
If you get implant surgery, your jawbone won’t degrade and cause you to look older. And by filling the gap in your grin, your remaining teeth will stay in their proper spots, which means your bite won’t become misaligned. All of this adds up to a decreased risk of future tooth loss.
Are You a Candidate for Dental Implant Surgery?
Dental implants are the only tooth replacement option that helps you avoid future tooth loss — but are you a good candidate for implanted teeth?
Most often, the answer is yes. If you’re healthy enough for a routine dental procedure, your oral surgeon will likely give you the green light for implant surgery. However, if it’s been some time since you lost your tooth, you may need to have a minor bone graft first. A bone graft will increase your jawbone density, giving your implant the solid base of support it needs.
Are you missing one or more of your teeth? If you’re interested in learning more about dental implants, schedule a professional consultation at Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah. Our board-certified oral surgeons, Dr. Partridge and Dr. Maxfield, specialize in replacing missing teeth and have more than a decade of experience in implant surgery.
Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah, serving the greater Salt Lake City area, has three convenient northern Utah locations. If you’re living with tooth loss, contact us today to discuss dental implant surgery.