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For many years dentures or bridges were the only way to replace missing teeth. With the development of Implant Dentistry, patients can now replace a single missing tooth (or multiple teeth) without the hassle of removable prosthetics.
A missing tooth (or multiple teeth) will affect your overall health and aesthetics of your smile. When a tooth is removed, bone immediately begins to break down causing shifting of other teeth in the mouth. The placement of an implant prevents any movement and allows the muscle to become stronger and the bone to revitalize.
A dental implant is an artificial tooth that is anchored in the jaw bone to hold a replacement tooth, bridge, or implant-supported denture. To place implants, oral surgery is necessary. Implant surgery requires the use of anesthesia, and antibiotics are prescribed after the surgery to prevent infection following the procedure. After the implant is placed in the mouth, a period of time is required for the implant to take hold and for bone tissue to build up, settle and accept the implant. Once this occurs, the tooth is ‘restored’ a crown is fabricated and placed over the implant, or a bridge or implant-supported denture is placed, in cases where there is more than one tooth involved.
Who can get Dental Implants?
Not all patients are candidates for dental implants. For successful implant surgeries, a patient must have proper bone density and a strong immune system. Dental implants may be an option for people who have lost a tooth because of periodontal disease or even trauma.
What to expect after the treatment?
To ensure that dental implants last many years strict oral hygiene, proper care and periodic follow ups will be scheduled to monitor your implant, teeth, and gums.
Educational Video on Dental Implants
Bone loss refers to the loss of jaw bone around the teeth or roots. Typically when a mouth is missing a tooth or teeth bone loss will occur. When bone quality and quantity is limited, dental implants may no longer be an option. Only patients with proper bone density are suitable for dental implant placement. However, called bone grafting, has made it possible to grow bone where needed. The possibility of regenerating bone has made it possible to place proper dental implants, allowing patients to restore functionality and aesthetics to their smile.
Educational Video on Bone Grafting
Wisdom Teeth (also known as Third Molars)
Wisdom teeth (or third molars) are the last set of teeth to develop in the mouth. Wisdom teeth usually present themselves between the ages of 17 and 25. In some cases wisdom teeth will erupt from the gum line with the jaw providing enough room to support them, however, often this is not the case. Normally, because there is not enough room, one or more of these third molars fails to emerge in proper alignment or does not emerge through the gum line causing the tooth to become impacted (entrapped), between the jawbone and gum tissue.
Problems with Impacted Wisdom Teeth
If left alone, impacted teeth may damage other teeth and can also become infected. These teeth are in an area of the mouth that is hard to keep clean, an area that develops bacteria leading to gum disease. Gum disease can improve in these areas with extraction of the wisdom teeth. In some cases, a cyst can develop at the base of the wisdom tooth. If left untreated, the cyst can grow and lead to more serious problems, such as damaging surrounding nerves, and teeth.
In the event that wisdom teeth come in normally and are functional, it is still strongly recommended that these molars be evaluated by an oral surgeon. This should occur by the time the patient is a young adult in order to evaluate the present state and provide management options. If the wisdom teeth, are cavity free, painless and healthy gums are present, removal of the wisdom teeth may not be necessary, but routine checkups and cleanings by a dental professional are required.
Educational Video on Wisdom Teeth surgeries