When kids and teens lose their baby teeth and the adult replacements come in, most individuals believe that those teeth will be permanent fixtures in the mouth. However, many adults face tooth loss at some point in their lives. Trusted dentist Dr. Beata A. Carlson and her associates of Natural and Cosmetic Dentistry in Clearwater, FL, have helped countless patients replace their missing teeth with a dental implant procedure.
Understanding tooth loss
Patients with good oral health care and frequent visits to the dentist know that the oral exam finds signs of tooth decay, which can be treated with a filling. However, if the decay is not caught in time, or is very severe, extraction may be necessary. In addition, if the decay is accompanied by gum disease, the tooth can lose valuable support and can become weak. Another common reason for tooth loss is trauma to the mouth such as a fall or getting hit with a ball during a baseball game.
Replacement is necessary
When a tooth is missing, especially if it is a molar or tooth that cannot be seen, many patients wonder if it is necessary to replace it at all. In nearly all cases, replacing the tooth will lead to better function of the mouth and future oral health. When a tooth is missing, the remaining teeth can slip out of proper alignment, which leads to pockets where food particles can become trapped. The replacement tooth also provides stimulation to the jaw, which prevents facial drooping.
Replacement tooth options
Patients have options when it comes to replacing their missing tooth or teeth. Dentures, crown and bridge appliances, and dental implants all have their advantages and disadvantages. However, patients who only have one or two teeth to replace, want the most natural fit and aesthetic, or are less concerned about cost often opt for implants.
About dental implants
While many replacement options only substitute the tooth, the dental implant procedure essentially replaces the missing tooth root. It provides greater stability as the replacement tooth root adheres to the jaw. A custom-made crown is placed on top of the metal root and provides a seamless natural appearance. The dental implant process can take up to several months as the bone heals around the implant. However, once healed, the replacement tooth will look and function exactly like the original teeth.
Benefits of dental implants
- Natural appearance – the dental crown, which fits on top of the implant, will be custom created according to your dentist’s specifications. That allows for it to blend seamlessly with your remaining teeth.
- Security – with many tooth replacement options, patients must be careful to avoid certain foods or may feel self-conscious speaking in large groups. With implants, patients can enjoy their favorite foods and speak clearly, without worrying about it slipping out of place.
- Nearly permanent solution – once the implant is placed, patients can forget that it is not a real tooth. Implants and crowns can last for many years as long as they are cared for properly.
At Natural & Cosmetic Dentistry, Dr. Beata A. Carlson and her associates help their patients find their unique best path to treatment. To learn more about dental implants, call the Natural & Cosmetic Dentistry office today at 727-888-6523.
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