A gapped-tooth grin in a child can be cute, but a missing tooth in an adult quickly loses its charm. And 178 million Americans have lost at least one tooth, and 40 million are missing all of them. A missing tooth (or teeth) is not only an aesthetic concern; it also jeopardizes your overall dental health, which is why seeking a replacement is a good idea. And a dental implant excels in both form and function over your other options.
Located in Albuquerque, NM, cosmetic dentist Linda Kay Nichols, DMD, PA, and her experienced team offer extensive general and cosmetic dental services, including state-of-the-art dental implants. For patients who are missing teeth, dental implants, which mimic your natural teeth right down to their roots, are the gold standard of replacement options.
To better acquaint you with dental implants, we’ve pulled together the following information to answer all of your questions.
Why replacing a tooth is important
When you lose a tooth, there’s not only a gap in your smile, but the loss goes down into your jawbone. Each of your teeth has roots that anchor them in place, and your body is continually rebuilding the hard tissue in your jawbone to keep your roots stable.
With the loss of these roots, your body registers the inactivity in your jawbone and ceases to rebuild the bone in that area.
This loss of new bone production can lead to deterioration in your jawbone, which can threaten the stability of your neighboring teeth, causing them to shift out of place. In advanced cases, the bone can deteriorate to the point where your outward appearance is affected.
The dental implant — down to the roots
The main reason why a dental implant is so effective is that we place a titanium post into your jawbone to mimic the missing roots. When your jawbone registers the post, it grows new tissue up and around the post, fusing it into place. Once the post is fully integrated, we cap the post with a crown, which fits in seamlessly with your existing teeth.
With other replacement options, we’re replacing what you see above your gum line, which certainly helps with your smile. Unfortunately, you can still experience bone loss in your jaw since we aren’t replacing the roots of your teeth.
The many uses of a dental implant
While dental implants are an excellent solution for a single missing tooth, we also use implants to provide stability for other prosthetic devices. For example, if you’re missing several teeth, we can attach a bridge to dental implants to keep the device more stable.
Caring for your dental implant
Another great benefit of a dental implant is that it’s a permanent replacement, which means there’s no need to remove them to provide special care. You simply take care of your implant as you do your existing teeth. Should your crown wear down, your implant is still in place and we simply create a new crown.
If you have more questions about dental implants, please contact our office to set up a consultation. You can call our office at 505-292-3933 or request an appointment via the online booking tool.