Tooth Implants by Richmond Hill Periodontists
Teeth are very important to our health, our nutrition, and our appearance. A missing tooth can not only be a nuisance – it can be destructive to your health and your confidence. In past decades, people coped with missing teeth by getting dentures, or dental bridges. While these were helpful, neither functions like natural teeth, and neither slows the deterioration of the jawbone that occurs when teeth are lost. Fortunately, in the decades since 1965, when a Swedish surgeon made the first successful titanium dental implant, more and more people have had the option of tooth implants. Dental implants are a way to replace missing teeth with artificial teeth that look, feel, and function like natural teeth. Tooth implants by Richmond Hill periodontists have a high rate of success.
Why You May Need an Implant
There are many reasons why people lose teeth. Accidental loss of a tooth is common, whether it happens while playing sports, in a motor vehicle accident, a slip-and-fall, or other mishap. Poor oral hygiene leads to tooth decay, and eating acidic foods such as sugary treats speeds this process. Tooth grinding may also contribute to tooth decay, and aging also sometimes causes loss of enamel, making teeth more vulnerable to decay. Periodontal disease is another leading reason why teeth are lost. Smoking and poor oral hygiene are major factors, but underlying conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure can also cause or hasten gum disease. Some medications also affect the gums and teeth.
The loss of a tooth can have a significant impact. If the missing tooth is in the front of the mouth, your confidence can take an immediate and direct hit! A visible "tooth gap” leads people to make assumptions about you that may not be true, and that can be devastating to your self-image. Even if the missing tooth is not immediately visible, that gap can affect your appearance. The other teeth may shift and move, leading to a change in the shape of your face.
No matter where the missing tooth is located, it will likely have an impact on the way you eat. For older adults especially, the inability to chew can be a choking hazard, and it can lead to difficulties with nutrition.
Are You a Good Candidate?
Dental implants can help to ameliorate all of these negative impacts caused by tooth loss. However, some cases may be more complex than others. Here are a few complicating factors:
- Lack of bone. If the tooth loss occurred a long time ago, it’s possible that you will not have sufficient jawbone left in the area to support an implant. Bone grafting may be necessary in these cases.
- Active gum disease. If gum disease is present, infections are more likely to occur post-procedure. You will need to treat the periodontal disease before undergoing implant surgery.
- Smoking. Smoking reduces the success rate of dental implant surgery. The odds improve if you give up smoking for at least the period before and after the procedure.
- Medical conditions. Some medical conditions and some medications can affect the outcome of tooth implant surgery.
Ask your periodontist in Richmond Hill about dental implants, and whether they are an option for you. Tooth implants can help to keep you smiling!