Causes of Tooth Loss
There are many different causes of tooth loss. The leading cause of tooth loss is gum, or periodontal, disease. Gum disease develops as a result of a bacterial infection in your mouth. The bacteria irritate the gums, which triggers an inflammatory response from the immune system. This causes the gums to swell. Without treatment, the gums begin to pull away from your teeth, forming pockets.
Bacteria fall into the pockets and continue attacking your gums. The pockets grow deeper, and the bacteria eventually reach your periodontal ligaments and jawbone. Here, they begin attacking these supporting structures, causing them to weaken. This compromises the stability of your teeth and can ultimately lead to tooth loss.
Other causes of tooth loss include:
Effects of Tooth Loss
No matter what causes your tooth loss, or whether they fall out on their own or need to be extracted, the effects are always the same. One of the most obvious effects of tooth loss is what happens to your smile. When you have gaps in your smile, its quality suffers. This can significantly impact your confidence as well as how others see you.
Your appearance is just the beginning when it comes to tooth loss. Following tooth loss, it becomes much more difficult to properly bite and chew your food. Chewing is the first stage of digestion and helps to break down what you eat so that your body can effectively absorb the nutrients. If you are unable to properly chew your food, it becomes more difficult to digest, which can ultimately impact your overall nutrition.
Tooth loss affects your speech. The teeth control airflow and provide a surface for your tongue to hit. This allows you to make a form a variety of different words and sounds. When you suffer tooth loss, you may develop a lisp or other speech-related issues, which can impact how you can communicate.
One of the lesser known effects of tooth loss is what happens to your jawbone. Your teeth provide stimulation for the bone, which occurs every time that you chew. This stimulation tells your body to send essential nutrients to the jaw and surrounding areas. When you lose teeth, your jawbone loses the stimulation from these teeth. Because of this, your body thinks that fewer nutrients are needed and therefore sends fewer. Over time, the bone begins to lose mass and weaken. This causes the bone to change shape. Not only does this impact the alignment of your healthy teeth, but it can also impact the shape of your face.
Learn more about the effect of missing teeth has on your health.
What are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are a solution for missing teeth. They provide a modern alternative to traditional bridges and dentures. Treatment with dental implants consists of 3 components.
Meeting a Variety of Needs
Everyone has different needs. You may have lost a single tooth, or you may have lost several. Dental implants are a versatile treatment that can be used to meet many different needs.
A Brief History of Dental Implants
Dental implants have been around for thousands of years. They can be found in skeletal remains all over the world. In these cases, implants were typically placed after death to prepare the body for the afterlife.
Modern dental implants are the result of an accidental discovery made in the 1950s. During this time, a Swedish orthopedic surgeon by the name of Per-Ingvar Brånemark was researching bone healing and regeneration. At one point during his research, he implanted a titanium cylinder into the femur of a rabbit. Later, when he went to remove it, he found that the bone had begun fusing with the cylinder, and it could not easily be removed.
This discovery led Brånemark to conduct further research. Eventually, he developed dental implants, the first of which was successfully placed in 1965. Following this success, Brånemark continued his research to improve his new invention. Over time, he formed a partnership with Bofors AB, now known as Nobelpharma. This company eventually founded what is now called Nobel Biocare. This company is solely devoted to dental implant products. Over the years, many improvements have been made, improving stability, strength, and success of dental implants. Even today, research continues, and discoveries are being made all of the time.
Getting Your Dental Implants
Dental implants require surgery for placement. Surgery is done under a local anesthetic so that you do not feel any pain during the procedure. Sedation is also provided, which allows you to feel relaxed and comfortable during your treatment. Surgery begins with small incisions in your gums, which provides access to the jawbone. Next, small holes are drilled into the bone, and the implant posts are placed directly inside. Your gums are sutured closed, and temporary teeth are set onto your implant posts.
Healing after implant surgery can take several weeks to several months. During this time, the bone fuses to the posts, stabilizing them within your jaw. Several follow up appointments enable us to monitor your healing and make sure that there are no complications. Once you have fully healed, the temporary teeth are removed and impressions are taken of your mouth. These impressions are used to design and create your final dental restorations, which are screwed securely into place on your dental implants.
What Benefits Do Implants Provide?
Dental implants provide many significant benefits. These include:
Dental implants provide you with a long-term, even permanent, the solution to tooth loss, restoring the functions of your missing teeth, the beauty of your smile, and your overall quality of life. For more information, and to find out if dental implants are right for you, call Rai Oral Surgery at (757) 777-9883 to schedule your appointment today.
Learn More About Dental Implants:
Call us at (757) 777-9883 to schedule your consultation about dental implants.