Dental implants can make a smile look fabulous – I know I have them. However, if you are just thinking about getting them, you may have a lot of questions. You may be wondering how smoking affects implants, whether or not wine will stain them, if they can be whitened or other concerns. I also know from experience that it can be intimidating to ask some of these questions to your dentist. In my dental implant blog, I am going to answer the questions that can be hard to ask. I hope you find the info you need in this blog and that it guides you to the right decision about dental implants. Thanks for reading!
A dental implant is a false tooth that screws into the gum line to permanently take the place of a real tooth. Having a dental implant can improve the appearance of your smile and can be easier for you to take care of than dentures, which need to be removed and cleaned every day. While you may consider having a dental implant for the sake of your appearance alone, it's good to note how this false tooth can actually protect your overall health. Note the following:
1. Protecting the gums
When you're missing a tooth, germs and bacteria may easily settle into these open pockets of the gums. You may also have a hard time brushing and flossing in this area as the exposed gums may be sensitive and sore. In turn, you may be more prone to gum disease and inflamed gums, and at an increased risk of oral infections. These infections can actually travel in your body and settle into other weak areas and then grow or get worse. A dental implant can protect these exposed areas of the gum and make it easier to keep them clean.
2. Guarding against additional tooth loss
Teeth rest on each other for support; they fit snugly against one another, and the upper jaw rests on the lower jaw as well. When you're missing a tooth, the teeth next to this open pocket may then tend to shift. They too may become loose and you may lose them as well.
You may also experience bone loss in the jaw when you're missing one tooth. The roots of the tooth keep the bones healthy and when a tooth root is missing, the bone begins to deteriorate. This too can lead to other teeth becoming loose and you eventually lose them as well.
3. Protecting your nutritional health
When you're missing a tooth, there may be certain foods that become difficult to eat. A dental bridge may not always help, as food can get caught between the bridge and the gums. In turn, you may avoid eating meat or certain vegetables that are difficult to chew and which can irritate the area of your mouth where the tooth is missing. You may also start to avoid eating altogether, and your nutritional health can suffer.
Remember all these important reasons for having a dental implant replace a missing tooth, for more than just your appearance alone.