- August 28, 2017
Did you know that the average American adult is missing three teeth?
Did you know that an estimated 35 million Americans are missing at least one complete row of teeth? That includes some 23 million who don’t have any real teeth left.
What’s really important is that if you can do something about it if you are missing teeth or you lose teeth in the future.
That’s why we want you to know about dental implants, which are one of the most important restorative services we offer at our dentist office in Shorewood, IL. Call 815-768-1615 or fill out our online form if you would like to schedule a consultation to find out if you are a good candidate for implants.
Our dentists at Shorewood Family Dental Care would be happy to answer any questions you may have about them during your visit. Together, we can help you decide if implants are right for you.
What Are Dental Implants?
A dental implant is a replacement for the root of a natural tooth. Like your roots, implants do two things that are extremely important for your oral health.
First, implants are placed directly into your jawbone. As you heal, you jawbone bonds directly to the implants. This holds your implants securely in place, which in turn allows your implants to keep your teeth replacements stable as well.
Second, implants function much like your roots once did. When you bite or chew with an implant-supported crown, bridge, or dentures, your implant or implants push into your jawbone. Your jawbone responds to this pressure by making new bone tissue.
Without that pressure, your jawbone won’t make new tissue. In time, this can cause your jawbone to shrink as old tissue is reabsorbed into your body. To put this another way, getting implants will help your jawbone stay strong and healthy, too.
Who Can Use Dental Implant?
The short answer is that dental implants are good for anyone who is missing one tooth or multiple teeth.
As an example, let’s imagine a patient who was hit in the mouth with a softball and had three teeth knocked out. What could happen if he doesn’t replace those missing teeth?
First, he may feel self-conscious. We’ve seen how losing teeth can have an emotional impact that can leave patients feeling less confident about smiling or even about themselves.
Second, he will start losing bone mass in his jaw. Without teeth, he doesn’t have roots, and without implants, he won’t have anything to push into his jaw to trigger new bone growth.
Third, nearby teeth may begin to drift into the empty space created by his missing teeth. This movement makes those teeth less secure and puts them at risk of falling out, too. (And that will just make the problems mentioned above even worse.)
Now, let’s compare that to what our patient could expect if he gets an implant-supported bridge.
The implants would provide the support to hold his bridge in place. The bridge itself would be made of durable but lifelike materials so his smile will look complete and natural again.
The implants also create a direct connection between his bridge and his jawbone. This allows him to put nearly as much power behind each bite as someone who still has all of his or her teeth.
That connection will stimulate his jawbone so it won’t shrink. And last, but not least, the bridge itself helps to keep his remaining teeth where they should be. This way his teeth won’t drift, which makes it less likely that he will lose more teeth.
We could describe similar situations for someone who might get an implant and a crown to replace a single tooth or someone who may need a series of implants to support dentures to replace a whole row of teeth.
How Can You Get Dental Implants?
During your initial visit, we will examine your mouth and your jaw. This may include a CT scan so we can create digital images of your teeth and jawbone.
If your jaw is healthy enough for implants, we can move forward with planning your tooth replacement procedure. If your jaw does not have enough mass to support implants, we can discuss what can be done to rebuild your smile.
We hope that you will keep all your teeth for life. If you do lose one or more along the way, remember that Shorewood Family Dental Care and dental implants are here to help you rebuild your smile.