The increased use of dental implants is due to the numerous benefits they offer. They’re a cosmetic solution to a gap between your teeth, they support speech and chewing, they‘re permanent, and they strengthen your overall facial architecture.
One of the most important benefits of getting an implant, however, is the long-term protection it affords your jawbone.
Dr. Linda Westmoreland is an expert in placing dental implants and in determining whether this dental solution is appropriate for you. Our team at Wedgewood Dental offers state-of-the-art care at two offices in Salem and Rolla, Missouri. Treatment that’s tailored to you, and they do so with the utmost compassion and professionalism.
What exactly is a dental implant?
A dental implant is an artificial tooth root made of a titanium post that resembles a screw. It’s implanted into your jawbone and underneath your gums. An implant acts as an anchor for a bridge or single tooth capped with a crown.
Placement of a dental implant helps prevent serious issues that arise when you’ve lost a tooth because of an injury or due to decay, such as:
- Problems chewing
- Speech difficulties
- Tooth shifting
- Facial asymmetry
Once an implant is placed in your mouth, you need to give it adequate time to heal before your replacement tooth or bridge is introduced.
Your jawbone tissue actually fuses to the implant, which creates a permanent solution for filling the void created by a missing tooth.
Am I a candidate for a dental implant?
To get an implant, your jaw must be done growing, so implants aren’t a good option for kids. If you have a sufficient amount of bone in your jaw to support an implant (and most adults do) and reasonably healthy gums, a dental implant is a good choice for you.
The only other requirements are to take scrupulous care of the area around your implant after it’s placed and to see us regularly, as follow-up care is important.
How does a dental implant protect my jawbone?
When there’s a hole where a tooth root used to be, two things happen: the bone tissue in that area declines and other teeth start to shift toward the gap. An implant prevents both problems. With the gap filled, your teeth can’t shift, and because the implant fills the hole where the tooth root used to be, it prevents bone loss. As an added bonus, implants don’t decay.
An implant also protects your facial structure. When a missing tooth leads to bone loss, your jawbone diminishes, which causes your face to develop a sunken look. So in this way a dental implant also protects your appearance and your self-esteem.
Visit one of our offices for a consultation with Dr. Westmoreland to see whether a dental implant is the right choice for you. If it is, she’ll answer all your questions and talk specifically about your implant’s important role in protecting your jawbone.
To get the ball rolling, call our nearest office or simply book an appointment online.