No one wants to lose a tooth, but it happens. Maybe it's that tooth that had multiple fillings, two root canals, and then, it just failed. Or, a car accident knocked out a tooth, and your dentist could not save it. Whatever the reason for your smile gaps, dental implants can address them with lifelike appearance and outstanding oral function. Dr. Carol Cunningham places dental implants at Gentle Art of Dentistry in Decatur, IL.
The amazing dental implant
It really is wonderful because this artificial tooth offers numerous benefits which other tooth replacements cannot. Placed directly into a patient's jaw bone, one or more dental implants:
- Restore normal biting and chewing
- Protect the size and density of bone and gum tissue
- Look just like the real thing
- Feel just like the real thing
- Last for decades
- Rarely need replacement
- Do not need anchorage to adjoining natural teeth
How can a dental implant consisting of a titanium screw, metal post, and porcelain crown do all that? The secret operative is a natural process called osseointegration.
Research shows that human bone is attracted to the titanium metal in the implant. After implant surgery, the bone adheres to the device, creating an immovable foundation for the rest of the artificial tooth. Only a healthy natural tooth is stronger than a dental implant, and osseointegration practically guarantees success, says the International Congress of Oral Implantologists.
Dental implants are versatile
As sad as it is, sometimes people lose more than one tooth. Accidental loss, gum disease, and decay rob people of the smiles which once made them feel confident in their appearance, speech, and ability to bite and chew.
Dr. Cunningham in Decatur carefully evaluates her patients who have lost teeth. Visual inspection and X-rays tell her if a patient has enough jaw bone to accept one or multiple implants as needed. Yes, today's implants, placed in strategic locations in the jaw bone, can accept prosthetics such as fixed bridgework or even a full set of dentures.
Keeping implants healthy
Recent dental implants have rougher surfaces than earlier devices. This roughness speeds osseointegration which is key to implant success.
Also, proper hygiene is key--daily and meticulous flossing around implant sites and twice daily brushing with a low abrasive toothpaste keeps gums pink and intact.
Finally, what you put in your mouth determines implant health. Eat a low-carb, high-fiber diet, and drink plenty of water every day. Also, avoid tobacco--both the smokeless variety and cigarettes, too. Tobacco contains toxins which harm gums, and the heat from cigarette smoke actually burns soft oral tissues and degrades underlying bone.
You'll love your dental implant
So lifelike, comfortable, and functional, the dental implant helps millions of people regain their smiles. For an implant consultation with Dr. Cunningham, please call her office in Decatur, IL, at (217) 422-7448.