The Effects of Tooth Loss
Your teeth have some different responsibilities. When you suffer tooth loss, all of the functions of your teeth, and your mouth are affected. At Malmquist Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, we offer dental implants for tooth replacement. This unique treatment provides several significant benefits over traditional treatments. One of these benefits is that implants look and function just like real teeth. However, just how do implants and real teeth compare?
How Important are your Teeth?
Your teeth are an essential feature of your mouth. They are responsible for biting and chewing. Chewing is the first stage of digestion, breaking down what you eat so that your body can easily absorb the nutrients later in the process. They control the flow of air when you speak, enabling you to form a wide array of different words and sounds and allowing you to communicate effectively with those around you. The teeth are a crucial component of a beautiful, confident smile. The roots of your teeth also play an integral role in the health of your jawbone. When you chew, the roots stimulate the bone, triggering the body to send the nutrients necessary to keep the jaw strong and healthy. Tooth loss impacts every one of these functions. Eating and speaking become more challenging, your digestion suffers, and your smile deteriorates. Your jawbone also begins to weaken, resulting in a shift in the alignment of your other teeth that throws off your bite.
Dental Implant Components
Dental implants are a modern alternative to traditional dentures and bridges. This unique treatment has three components.
||Posts. The posts are the part of dental implants that are surgically placed in your jawbone. They are typically made from titanium. As you heal, your bone fuses to the posts, integrating them into the jaw. The posts then provide support for your replacement teeth.
||Abutments. Abutments, or connectors, are placed on the ends of the posts. They are designed to provide stability for replacement teeth.
||Crowns. The crowns, generally made from ceramic, are used to replace the visible surfaces of your missing teeth.
Dental implants are a unique treatment for many reasons. One of these reasons is the posts that are placed in your jawbone. The posts mimic the roots of your natural teeth. When you chew, they stimulate the bone just like natural tooth roots. This helps to stop, and prevent, bone loss in the jaw, maintaining its strength and integrity. No other tooth replacement option can do this.
Oral Health Issues
Your natural teeth are susceptible to decay and cavities. Plaque and bacteria produce harmful acids that erode the enamel, weakening it and leading to the formation of small pits in the surfaces of your teeth. Over time, cavities grow larger, compromising the structure and health of the affected teeth. Plaque and bacteria can also lead to gum disease, which can ultimately lead to tooth loss. Ceramic crowns are not susceptible to decay. However, they can still collect plaque and bacteria, which can then lead to gum disease. Untreated gum disease with dental implants can compromise the posts in your jaw. As bacteria attack your jawbone, the stability of your implants becomes compromised, which can ultimately lead to implant failure. Both real teeth and dental implants need to be properly cared for to prevent these issues from occurring.
Strength of Teeth vs. Implants
Your teeth are the strongest substance in your body. Despite their incredible strength, they can still be faced with physical damage and decay. Both the crowns and the roots are at risk. With dental implants, titanium posts are designed to be fracture resistant, and it is rare that they, or the abutments, break. Injuries to your jawbone, however, can compromise their stability. The crowns of dental implants, just like the crowns of your natural teeth, are susceptible to physical damage. A facial injury or biting down on something too hard can chip or fracture the crown. Crowns, however, can be replaced without having to replace the posts.
Dental implants mimic the functions of your missing teeth, from aiding in eating and speaking all the way to stimulating the jawbone. If you suffer tooth loss, dental implants are the next best thing. For more information, and to find out if implants are right for you, call Malmquist Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery today at (503) 446-6776.