Replace Teeth With Dental Implants Makes Good Sense

Posted on Nov 16, 2021 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS

There’s a reason your general dentist is so determined to help you keep your natural teeth. When he or she recommends a crown (‘cap’) on a tooth to prevent potential removal (at the time or in the future), it is because a lost tooth is problematic in many ways.

First, the portions of teeth you see above the gum line stay in stable position because of the roots that hold it. Tooth roots (think “legs”) are supported by the upper or lower jaw bone. Larger teeth may have four roots. Some of the smaller teeth have only one.

These roots are beneficial to the health of the jaw bones. Tooth roots are connected to the jaw bone by veins and nerves that run from the tooth’s interior and out the bottom of each root leg. These vessels carry blood to the bone while providing a sort of stimulation that helps the bone to maintain its mass.

Think of the stimulation that tooth roots provide to how you might muscle atrophy. We all know that muscles, not used, will shrink in mass. When the jaw bones are lacking stimulation by the tooth roots they’re designed to hold, bone mass begins to decline.

Bone loss is the reason for a long line of problems. When bone loss occurs next to an area where natural teeth are held, those teeth are most likely to be the next to be lost.

When bone loss begins, it accelerates with each passing year. And eventually, a shrinking jaw bone reveals itself in changes in facial appearance. Initially, there may be deep wrinkling around the mouth. The corners of the mouth turn downward. Jowls form and the chin becomes more pointed.

As bone loss becomes more severe, the mouth seems to sink into the face. The nose and chin get closer, giving a “granny look”. The thin jaw bone is also more vulnerable to breaks.

Bone loss is what causes a change in how partials and dentures fit. As the bone height declines, the denture or partial becomes less secure from the declining bone shape to which it was designed to fit. More-frequent applications of pastes and adhesives are needed. Relines help but only temporarily.

Teeth also serve to support neighboring teeth. Each tooth keeps the ones on either side and above (or below) in proper position. This supports the “bite” alignment. A misaligned bite (how upper teeth fit and interact with lower teeth) can result in teeth that become chipped, worn or fractured.

Bite misalignment can also lead to TMJ disorder. The TMJ are your jaw joints, which hinge the lower jaw to the skull. When a misaligned bite causes stress or strain on these joints, the result can be headaches, sore jaw joints, ear ringing, vertigo, difficulty opening the mouth fully, and sore muscles in the face, neck and shoulders.

The reason we advise replacing teeth with dental implants are many:

1). A dental implant recreates the presence of a natural tooth. It provides stimulation to the bone, halting the process of bone loss.

2). Dental implants do not rely on neighboring teeth for support, as in a crown-&-bridge combination. The crowning of bordering natural teeth to support a bridge is not needed. Thus, the integrity of surrounding teeth is protected.

3). Because dental implants are supported by the jaw bone, sturdy and dependable biting and chewing strength is restored. Eating a healthy diet of all the foods you love is again possible.

4). Dental implants come in many sizes and shapes, each system designed to accommodate various needs and preferences. This means your implant can be chosen to suit your long-term goals.

5). Dental implants have an extremely high success rate, higher than any implant-in-bone option.

6). Dental implants are designed to last a lifetime. With proper selection and maintenance, they will never need replacing or repair. This makes them an excellent investment.

A periodontist is a dental specialist who is skilled offers an advanced understanding when it comes to oral tissues as well as dental implants. The advantages of a periodontist in dental implant selection and placement are many.

A periodontal specialist is trained to understand the intricate concepts involved in selecting the proper type of implant and skilled at placing implants at proper depths and angles. A periodontist is also able to optimize patient comfort during treatment and throughout the healing phase.

Using his or her advanced training in the diagnosis and placement of dental implants, a periodontist can help you enjoy a higher potential for dental implant treatment that lasts a lifetime.

In our Asheville periodontal dental office, we offer some of the most advanced technology available. This technology, combined with our advanced skill level, can help you enjoy a comfortable, efficient experience that allows you to have optimal success.

To learn more, call our office at: 828-274-9440 to request a consultation. Or, begin with an initial periodontal examination.



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