Dental Implants: Preserve Appearance and Functionality

tooth replacement CharlottesvilleWhen the time comes to replace a missing tooth, it’s important to think about how the device will affect the function of your smile in addition to its aesthetics. Dental implants are the only structurally complete treatment for tooth loss. They look, fit and work much like your biological teeth do.

Older tooth replacement appliances, like dentures and dental bridges, only replace the crown portion of the absent tooth. However, the tooth’s root structure is essential to the smile’s stability and function. The link between tooth and root helps to secure the jawbone and plays a central role in chewing and even speaking properly.

In contrast, dental implants include both a root-like structure and a prosthetic crown (or bridge or denture, depending on the patient’s needs). An oral surgeon inserts the titanium implant into the patients jaw and the adjacent bone material fuses with the implant’s surface over the course of several months. At the end of this process, known as osseointegration, the implant is left as a permanent fixture in the patient’s jaw.

As a replacement root, the dental implant performs important roles. It helps to preserve the integrity of the jawbone, which maintains the fit of the appliance over time in addition to supporting the smile’s overall stability. Furthermore, the link between bone and implant also improves chewing function, as a dental implant can withstand stronger forces than a similar prosthetic that has no such connection to the jaw.

Of course, patients who have suffered tooth loss tend to prioritize their smile’s appearance when it comes to restorations. Dental implants perform well in this aspect, too. The materials used to craft the prosthetic appliance look a lot like natural tooth enamel does, so the restoration has a very realistic appearance.

Dental implants are a good option to maintain the appearance and function of the smiles of patients who have experienced tooth loss. Call our office to learn more about this treatment option.