Missing teeth can create difficulties for many individuals, including a decline in oral function and a loss of confidence in the appearance of their smile. However, further oral health concerns can arise if the patient does not seek tooth replacement treatment from their dentist.
Dental implants can provide permanent restorative benefits for patients with missing teeth and improve the health of their jaw. Dr. Michael Mulkey, a dentist practicing in Marietta, GA, provides further details about how dental implants can help patients preserve the bone in their jaw following tooth loss.
How Does Tooth Loss Affect the Jaw?
A healthy tooth features a root that extends below the gumline to the jaw. It stimulates the bone there, keeping it strong. If an individual loses a tooth, the absence of stimulation from the tooth root can allow the jawbone to deteriorate.
This bone loss can lead to the appearance of facial sagging and the shifting of remaining teeth. A restorative dental solution that only replaces teeth above the gumline, as with removable dentures, will not help resolve bone degeneration in the jaw.
How Can Dental Implants Restore Jawbone Health?
A dental implant consists of a titanium post anchor and a prosthetic tooth secured to an abutment at the gumline attached to the anchor. A dental professional surgically places the anchor into the jaw to create support for the prosthetic tooth, bridge, or denture. When the patient heals from the anchor placement surgery, they return to the dentist’s office to receive their permanent prosthetic.
The anchor serves as a replacement for the missing tooth root and stimulates the jawbone once again. This halts the deterioration of the bone and also encourages any bone that has already been lost to regrow. Patients can both preserve and enhance their smiles with this restorative dental treatment.
Is My Jaw Healthy Enough for Dental Implants?
While dentists highly recommend permanent tooth replacement with dental implants, not every dental patient will qualify for this procedure. The anchor of the implant requires a stable foundation in the jaw in order to successfully support the prosthetic tooth.
If too much bone has been lost, the dentist will not be able to put the anchor in place. They may suggest a bone graft surgery to create more structure in the jaw that may support a dental implant once healed.
If this is not feasible, they may recommend alternative restorative dental solutions. Your dental professional can evaluate the structure of your jaw through x-ray imaging taken during your consultation appointment.
Dental Implants Available in Marietta, GA
Lost Mountain Dental offers dental implants and other tooth replacement solutions to patients in Marietta, GA. Dr. Mulkey also specializes in restorative, cosmetic, and general dentistry, including preventative dental care, for patients of all ages. If you feel nervous about upcoming dental procedures, ask your dental professional about sedation dentistry options. To schedule a consultation or appointment with our practice, contact our staff by phone at 678.212.1280 or reach our office online.