Dentists do everything in their power to preserve your natural teeth. In some situations, the teeth simply cannot be salvaged. Whether due to disease, decay, trauma, or simple neglect, teeth can sometimes reach a point where they are not viable. In these situations, your dentist may refer you to an oral surgeon so that the non-viable tooth can be safely extracted.
Before removing your tooth, your oral surgeon will talk with you about some of the options for replacing that tooth, including dental implants. It is critically important to replace missing or extracted teeth as soon as possible, and for most patients, dental implants represent the best option.
Preventing Bone Loss
What makes tooth replacement so important? First and foremost, replacing a missing tooth helps restore the form and function of your smile. No one wants to go through life with missing teeth, and tooth replacement via dental implants enables you to maintain a normal, healthy appearance as well as a strong bite.
There is another important reason to promptly replace missing teeth with dental implants, and it pertains to bone loss. Your jawbone requires regular stimulation from your tooth root. When your tooth is extracted, you lose the root, which means your bone no longer gets this stimulation. This can cause the bone to atrophy and decay over time.
There are a couple of consequences of bone loss. For one thing, the degradation of your jawbone may lead to unwanted changes to your facial appearance. Additionally, without sufficient jawbone, dental restoration becomes more challenging. Dental implants need a certain amount of bone volume to anchor them in place. If you do not have that bone mass, your oral surgeon may need to perform a bone graft before placing dental implants.
The Benefits of Dental Implants
When it comes to preventing bone loss, dental implants are uniquely advantageous over other methods, such as dentures. This is because only dental implants can function as artificial tooth roots, providing ongoing stimulation to your jawbone and preventing bone atrophy. In other words, dental implants are the best option for replacing missing teeth while also fortifying the overall health of your jaw.
There are other reasons why dental implants represent the standard of care for tooth extraction patients. Dentures and bridges typically require healthy teeth to be either extracted or shaved down so that your dental prostheses fit in place. Only dental implants allow for full dental restoration without any adverse effects on the surrounding teeth. Finally, note that dental implants, when properly maintained, can potentially last a lifetime.
Find Out More About Dental Implants
Millions of Americans suffer from tooth loss. If you have lost a tooth, or anticipate the need to have teeth extracted, now is the time to learn about your options for dental restoration. For most patients, dental implants represent the most beneficial approach.
To find out more about dental implants, contact Somerset Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Group to schedule a consultation.