Our smiles are one of the first things that others notice about us, but they can be a cause of self-consciousness if we aren’t confident about how we look. For patients with missing teeth, dental implants are a great way to improve the look of your smile and increase your confidence. A dental implant resembles a natural tooth in shape and color, but oftentimes is stronger than your original tooth was. Implants are essential if you want to prevent gum recession and a sagging face that often accompanies a mouth full of missing teeth. Find out what to expect when you receive a dental implant with this guide!
The Consequences of Missing Teeth
Nobody wants to be disappointed in their smile, but missing teeth can make you feel self-conscious about how you look and ruin your confidence. You can lose a tooth for a variety of reasons, such as injury, age or bad oral hygiene habits, but no matter what the reason is, a missing tooth affects more than your smile. Many patients with missing teeth have difficulties chewing, eating and speaking, and they often have to change how they eat due to the gaps in between their teeth. Eating hard food can become nearly impossible if you have multiple missing teeth, and the way you speak will change as your gums recede. Additionally, your face can sag as the skin around your mouth isn’t supported by your teeth anymore, and this can make you look a lot older than you actually are. Your cheeks and lips can sag, as well, as your jaw bone begins to weaken due to the lack of a tooth root to secure it to. Missing one or more teeth is a big deal as it affects your self-esteem, the physical structures of your mouth and how you interact with others.
How Does A Dental Implant Work?
While having a missing tooth may be stressful to acclimate to, there is a way to restore your mouth to its former glory and receive the support that a healthy mouth needs. A dental implant is one of the easiest and most effective ways to fill the spot of a missing tooth and improve how your mouth looks and function as a whole. In fact, dental implants are the strongest devices to support prosthetic teeth and they’re the only dental restoration alternative that preserves your natural bone. A dental implant works by placing a titanium post into your jawbone to secure the new tooth in your mouth. A prosthetic tooth will be placed on top of this post and will look, feel and operate like a natural tooth would. A more in-depth version of this process includes three steps: bonding the dental implant with the jawbone, attaching an abutment on the implant and placing the custom-made crown to finish. The abutment is basically a connector that holds the crown in place and keeps it attached to the implant. Your individual crown will be created to look like the surrounding teeth adjacent to the implant without anyone ever knowing the difference. Since the implant is fused to your jawbone, it will never slip, make noise or damage the surrounding area, which means you’ll have a fully functional prosthetic tooth for years to come.
Dental Tips To Protect A New Implant
While a dental implant can last for years on its own, it still needs to be taken care of like you would any other tooth. This means that you must practice good oral hygiene, see your dentist regularly and avoid damaging habits, like chewing hard candy or ice. Your oral hygiene regimen should include daily brushing and flossing your teeth, including the dental implant, to ensure that tooth decay doesn’t develop and to avoid staining. While the implant and crown themselves can’t develop decay, they can harbor harmful bacteria and plaque that can cause adjacent teeth and gum tissue to become diseased. Brushing and flossing each day can prevent this from occurring and save you from expensive dental work. Secondly, going to the dentist every six months for a checkup is another way to protect your implant. Your dentist can monitor any movement in the mouth and examine the implant for signs of damage or wear that will need to be fixed. He/she can also give you dental tips to keep your teeth healthy and avoid problems like gum disease and cavities. Lastly, do your best to avoid damaging habits that could break your crown or increase your risk of decay. This includes limiting your consumption of tooth-staining products like tobacco and coffee, along with avoiding hard foods. If you grind your teeth, you should also let your dentist know since that can easily break a dental implant and cause you lots of pain and money to fix.
Improve The Look of Your Smile With Our Help!
At Mountain Aire Dentistry, we care about the health and look of your smile. If you are suffering from one or missing teeth, contact us today at (303) 731-7755 to schedule a consultation to get your smile back. Dr. Berry and his staff use the best tools and technology to successfully place a new dental implant and help you create the smile that you deserve. Call today to learn more about how a dental implant can improve the look of your smile!