Once a tooth is missing, the loss negatively impacts the patient's oral and overall health. The empty space in the mouth can no longer transfer bite pressure to the bone of the jaw as the lost tooth once did. Thus, the jawbone does not receive the stimulation needed to produce enough bone cells at that site to maintain a healthy density. As the bone atrophies in that area, the facial structure may not receive the necessary support to remain full and youthful looking.
Additionally, the gap left by the tooth's loss allows additional space for the remaining teeth to roam. As the teeth shift from their normal positions, they become misaligned and may eventually require braces to correct their configuration.
Also, if multiple teeth are missing, the patient may not be able to chew comfortably or effectively enough to enjoy a wide variety of foods. Healthy foods that are crunchy or tough to chew may be omitted from the diet, and nutritional deficits may result. A prosthetic appliance is needed to restore the functionality of the mouth.
Differing from other prosthetic dental devices that only lie at the gum line, dental implants are prosthetic devices that replace the tooth roots of lost teeth. An implant is inserted into the bone of the patient's jaw, so it provides all of the basic benefits offered by a natural tooth root.
To complete an implant-based restoration, the implant must be topped by additional devices. Here are some of the devices that are used in conjunction with an implant.
The abutment is a connector that is added to the implant to allow the addition of devices that replace the natural crown of a tooth. An abutment is normally placed after the implant wound has fully healed and the gums around the dental implant have been contoured.
When an implant is used to replace a single tooth, a dental crown is added to the abutment. The crown, which can be matched to the color of the patient's other teeth, restores the look and chewing functionality of the mouth.
A dental bridge that is fixed in place may be connected to one or more dental implants. The connection makes the bridge a stable and permanent fixture in the mouth.
A denture can be connected to dental implants for support and stabilization. The patient can connect and disconnect the denture from the implant as needed.
To learn more about dental implants and how they can aid in the restoration of your mouth, schedule a consultation with a local dentist, like one from Dental Design SD.Share