A dental implant is an artificial tooth replacement that is very different from all the alternative options in tooth replacement. When you get a dental implant, it is fused in your mouth into your bone, and this offers a number of benefits for you. One benefit is that it will help you avoid losing bone mass in your jaw, and here are a few things you may want to know about this.
How Missing Teeth Cause Bone Mass Loss
Your teeth not only help you speak and eat, but they also play a vital role in keeping your jawbone strong. Using your teeth to eat stimulates the bone in your jaw. This stimulation causes the bone to constantly replenish itself, and this is what keeps your jawbone dense, strong, and healthy.
As soon as you lose a permanent tooth, the bone mass in this area of your jaw will begin degenerating. The bad news is that this will continue occurring if you do not replace the tooth. Eventually, this area of your jaw will not have enough jawbone in it to hold your cheek in place, and this can often result in a face that has a caved-in appearance. In addition, if you wait too long to replace the tooth, you may not have enough jawbone in this area to hold a dental implant.
It's important to know that you can lose around 25% of your jawbone mass in the first year after losing a tooth. This is why it is better to replace the tooth sooner rather than waiting.
How Osseointegration Works
Osseointegration is the process used to fuse the implant into the bone of your jaw. An implant is made up of several key components, but the success of the implant relies on how well the implant itself fuses to your bone. When the implant is placed in your jawbone, it will take time for the process of osseointegration to occur, because the bone must grow around the implant. This actually makes the jawbone and the implant become one solid piece. When this happens, osseointegration is complete.
Once this process is complete, the dentist can insert the post and the crown to complete the implant. Your implant will then work as a regular tooth. You will be able to eat well with it, and you will look better. In addition, your jawbone will be protected, because this artificial tooth will continue stimulating your jawbone for as long as you have it in your mouth.
This process will take at least three months from the time it is done, but this is a minimum. It often takes longer than this, especially for people who have health problems such as diabetes. Smoking will also prolong the osseointegration process, which is why your dentist may recommend that you stop smoking before you have this done.
The Benefits You Will Receive
Finally, you should understand that there are so many benefits offered through dental implants, and here are the main ones:
- You will look better—Missing a tooth can take away from the way you look, and it can also be embarrassing.
- You can chew better—A dental implant is the only type of tooth replacement option that works just like a regular tooth, and this is because it is secured in your mouth with your jawbone.
- You won't lose jawbone—Your implant will also help you keep bone mass in your jawbone, and this is important for so many reasons.
If you would like to reap the benefits of a dental implant, you will need to schedule a consultation visit with resources like Richard L. Myers, DDS.