Losing permanent teeth can be an emotional roller coaster for many patients. This is because an incomplete smile has profound psychological effects on a person. For example, many patients with tooth loss are susceptible to developing depression and social anxiety because they feel self-conscious of their smiles. Beyond the psychological effects of tooth loss, missing one or more teeth presents an increased risk for a myriad of oral health problems that can greatly reduce a patient’s quality of life.
Dental implants function similarly to biological teeth because they address tooth loss below and above the surface of the gums. Unlike traditional replacement teeth that rest on top of the gum line, dental implants are surgically embedded into the jawbone for security and longevity. Implants may be used to replace a single tooth or support a set of prosthetic teeth. For single tooth replacement, an implant has two parts. The first part is a titanium post that is inserted into the jawbone where bone will integrate around the implant over time. This process allows the post to function like a tooth’s root. The second part of an implant consists of a custom made dental crown, which is attached to the post by an abutment. The crown will appropriately fill in the empty tooth socket, support neighboring teeth, and provide a stable biting surface for eating.
Implants used to support more than one prosthetic tooth are slightly smaller than single tooth implants. This method of treating tooth loss involves strategically placing implants throughout the jaw to act as anchors or pillars to a set of dentures.
Dental implants are made from biocompatible materials that are resistant to decay and damage. They also support bone and gum health as well. Because these replacement teeth are permanent, patients can brush and floss them just like natural teeth.
To learn more about your tooth replacement options, contact our team at Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Group today.