There can be many reasons for tooth loss. Despite the advances we’ve made in our understanding and practice of dental hygiene, tooth loss still routinely occurs. Reasons for tooth loss can include tooth decay, periodontal disease, or oral trauma. Whatever the reason, when a tooth is lost, it’s vital to seek treatment. If the area is left empty, serious issues can develop. A dental implant treatment resolves these issues and restores your smile and confidence.
In normal circumstances, healthy tooth roots entwine with the jawbone and gums, helping to stimulate further production of vital gum tissue and bone. When a tooth is lost, there is no such stimulation, resulting in the recession of the gums and jawbone deterioration. What may seem an isolated incident can compromise the integrity of the entire dental arch.
You may wonder, how do dental implants work? With proper care, once your dental implants are placed they can last you a lifetime.
What is a Dental Implant?
If you’ve lost a tooth, the best solution for tooth loss is dental implants. How do dental implants work? They are placed into the empty space where the tooth used to be and provide the look and feel of a normal tooth.
Dental implants offer benefits which other dental procedures do not. Other solutions for a missing tooth—such as a tooth-supported fixed bridge—can undermine long-term oral health because of the stress it puts on the surrounding teeth and the absence of pressure and activity in the empty gum space.
A dental implant does not reduce or damage other teeth, and so your oral health is not compromised.
This makes it a smarter choice when faced with the dilemma of how to remedy tooth loss.
Dental implants are typically made from titanium alloy, but cobalt-chromium, gold alloys, zirconia, stainless steel and nickel-chromium alloys can be used too. Materials like titanium alloy are biocompatible and not recognised as a foreign object in the body.
How Do Dental Implants Work?
A dental implant replaces the tooth roots with a metal post, which fuses with your jawbone providing the foundation for a replacement tooth. Dental implant surgery is often performed in stages, with adequate healing time in between procedures.
Certain factors influence this process, such as the health of your jawbone and the type of implant used. Once the metal post is implanted, it can take time for the bone to heal around the post—around 3-6 months—creating a stable base.
Once the space around the implant has healed, an abutment is attached to the top of the implant. The abutment prevents the gum tissue from growing over the implant. An artificial tooth is then placed on top, one which matches your natural tooth shade. This can be made from porcelain or acrylic resin.
Dental implants have a success rate of over 98%, and with proper care can last a lifetime. If you lose a tooth, don’t wait too long to seek treatment. Ideally, you shouldn’t wait longer than six months to have dental implant surgery. Any longer and you could risk bone loss.
If you’ve lost a tooth you may wonder about the best course of treatment. Call us on (02) 4210 9058 to schedule an appointment to discuss your options or book a consultation online.