Losing a tooth can do a lot more harm than leaving a gap in your smile. It can cause the adjoining teeth to shift or move; it can cause your face to sag, and it can hurt your self-esteem. Many patients in Santa Barbara, CA, turn to dental implants when they lose a tooth to decay or trauma. Dr. Cynthia Copeland of Whole Health Dentistry helps her patients understand how implants work and how they can benefit the health of your mouth.
About dental implants
Simply stated, a dental implant is an artificial tooth root. In an outpatient procedure, the dentist places a titanium or zirconia post into the jawbone. After the bone grows and attaches to the post, a crown is set to give the tooth a natural look. The implant and crown will look and function exactly like your natural teeth.
There are several advantages to dental implants:
- Improved appearance: The crown that is placed over the dental implant is created just for you. It will match your surrounding teeth in both shape and color. Once the crown is placed, no one will be able to tell that you have an artificial tooth.
- Better speech: Unlike dentures, there’s no slipping with dental implants. When you speak with an implant in your mouth, you will sound like you did before losing a tooth.
- Easier eating: Your implant doesn’t just look like a natural tooth; it functions like one too. You can eat all of your favorite foods without concern about them slipping or having food particles become stuck.
- Good oral health: Some procedures can require that the surrounding teeth be filed or reduced slightly to make room for the replacement to be placed. However, with dental implants, no adjustments are made to the surrounding teeth, keeping them strong and completely intact.
- Long-lasting: With good oral care, your implants should last the rest of your life. It’s essential to take care of the tooth, but dental implants are strong and durable. Regular brushing and flossing will keep the implant free from plaque and bacteria and maintain the gum line free from food particles. Additionally, you should avoid biting or chewing on hard objects or smoking and using tobacco. Regular visits to your dentist are recommended to ensure the health of your implant and your entire mouth.
Don’t put off replacing a missing tooth. The longer you wait, the more likely it is that the surrounding teeth begin to shift, creating additional problems. Text the office of Whole Health Dentistry today at +1 (855) 441-0001 to schedule a consultation and start your journey to a happier and healthier smile.
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