They say that a smile can open a thousand doors – and there can be very little argument that a winning smile puts people at their ease. It makes social interactions that much easier – and can have a tremendously positive impact on your professional career. A flawless smile can engender trust and it certainly provides the person who is doing the smiling with an extra shot of self-confidence.

Tooth loss is almost impossible to avoid as we age. A tooth may become infected, gum disease may take its toll or accidents may cause the loss of a tooth. Whatever the reason for decades the solution to replacing that missing tooth was the ‘fixed bridge’ or a partial denture. Today there is the option of detail implants that have a variety of advantages over the treatments that were for so long the only options available to those who had lost a tooth.

Today dental implants are the preferred way to replace missing teeth. There are a variety of reasons for this. Bridges, for instance, distribute the chewing force to the adjacent teeth – and this can have long term consequences. The bone that supports the teeth that anchor the bridge is placed under stress and it can weaken, there is also the problem that decay can open up gaps between the bridge and the adjacent teeth – this can form what is called a food trap’ which in turn, speeds decay. This means that bridges will have to be replaced regularly.

Dental implants, supported by crowns or bridges are now the preferred method of replacing missing teeth. In these is an artificial root that is implanted in the jawbone. A dental implant can support one or more artificial teeth – and it does not rely on the support of the neighboring teeth for stability and so does not have any detrimental effects on their health. Dental implants transfer the forces that are involved in chewing directly to the jawbone – which means that bone density and volume in the area are preserved.

When would you require a dental implant? There are a variety of scenarios where an implant might be required. the first is simple tooth decay. However, in cases where their injury has occurred and the tooth is lost, fractured, or damaged irreparably then it may be time to evaluate a dental implant. That sort of implant can take place within 24 hours of the injury – however, many dental surgeons will recommend waiting until the bone has filled the socket.

Periodontal disease can also be a reason that a dental implant is required. This is usually signaled by a receding gum line and a tooth that’s shifting in the socket. That receding gum line can be a result of underlying bone loss – and in these cases, the loss can make the insertion of a dental implant challenging. However, bone grafting before the implantation can solve that problem.

The key to a successful dental implant procedure is to identify the problem as early as possible and consult a specialist dental practitioner. If you are experiencing problems that may result in tooth loss – or have lost a tooth consult with a professional as soon as possible.

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