Implants Offer More Than Meets The Eye
Dental implants are an amazing part of modern dentistry.
We’ve seen how much they have helped our patients at Gilbart Dental Care. Our dentists know that implants have restored smiles for patients in Hagerstown, MD, allowed patients in Frederick to keep eating the foods that they love, and provided incredible stability to the dentures of patients in Ellicott City.
We’ve discussed these benefits of dental implants in previous posts, but today we want to address some less well known but equally important benefits of dental implants.
▷ Strengthen Your Jaw
Many times we emphasize the visible benefits of our restorative and cosmetic services. But many times, what is happening below the gumline is just as important to your appearance and to the function of your mouth.
That’s certainly the case with your jawbones. Your maxilla (upper jaw) and mandible (lower jaw) hold your teeth in place. The roots of your teeth are anchored in your jawbones.
The interaction between your roots and your jaw keeps your jaw healthy by encouraging new tissue growth. Without roots, your jaw will not make the new tissue it needs to maintain its size and shape. As a result, your jaw will lose mass and begin to shrink. This is why people who have no teeth will have mouths that appear to be sinking in on themselves.
Dental implants don’t just take up the space that was once occupied by your roots. Implants also provide the kind of interaction that your jawbones need to create new bone tissue.
This process won’t regrow tissue that has already been lost, but it can maintain the size and shape of your jaw for decades to come. This is part of the reason dentists encourage patients to replace missing teeth as soon as possible.
▷ Preserve Your Smile
More often than not, we talk about the way dental implants restore the appearance of a patient’s smile. After all, implants are a restorative service.
That’s true, but they have a preservative quality as well. When you lose a tooth or teeth, there is a space that opens up in your smile. What would happen if you did nothing about it?
You know that your jaw will begin to lose mass, but that’s not the only issue. Your teeth may be individual pieces, but they function as a unit.
Every day, your teeth are pushed in small ways. Part of the reason you don’t notice those changes if because your teeth push back on one another. This mutual support keeps your teeth in the same positions as far as most of us can tell.
When you remove a tooth or teeth, the neighboring teeth lose some of their support. This can lead to teeth drifting into the open space, which will have further repercussions on how you smile looks and how well you can bite and chew food.
With a dental implant, you have a way to support a dental crown or dental bridge. By filling in the gap between your teeth, you are also re-creating the support necessary to keep the rest of your teeth in line.
▷ Prevent More Tooth Loss
So, let’s revisit what can happen when you lose a tooth but don’t replace it.
That part of your jaw is shrinking (up to 25 percent within 12 months). The teeth next to the empty space may be drifting into this area.
As they move into an area with less support, you also increase the odds that you will lose those teeth. This can lead to more bone loss, more drifting, more tooth loss … you can see the pattern here.
When you get a dental implant or implants to support dental crown or bridge, you are helping to maintain your jaw’s health. You also help to keep your teeth in their proper positions.
And by doing both of those things, you are making it less likely that you will lose additional teeth. That is assuming, you are doing the other things you should be doing to keep your mouth healthy. Those include brushing your teeth twice daily, flossing your teeth every day, and visiting Gilbart Dental Care a couple times every year for routine cleanings and examinations.
It’s Not Too Late To Save Your Smile
If you just lost a tooth or you lost a few teeth months ago, we encourage you to schedule a consultation with our dentists as soon as possible to find out if you are a good candidate for dental implants and other restorative care.
Your smile is worth saving and protecting.