Posts for tag: missing teeth
Find out what makes someone ideal for this lifelong tooth replacement.
While many healthy adults who are looking to replace one or more missing teeth can be great candidates for dental implants, this treatment isn’t right for everyone. Our York, PA, restorative dentist Dr. Robert Hoffmaster wants you to be informed about the dental procedures you are interested in getting so that you can determine whether it’s truly the best solution for you. Here’s what goes into getting dental implants and what makes someone a great candidate.
You’ll be happy to hear that most adults who are looking to replace one, several or all of their teeth could be good candidates for dental implants. A good candidate will maintain good oral hygiene. This means that when our York, PA, general dentist examines your mouth we will see healthy pink gums that don’t have active gum disease and healthy, cavity-free teeth. If we find any issues these problems will need to be treated before we can begin the implant process.
Of course, the strength and health of your jawbone also matters greatly. We will run x-rays to check the extent of your bone loss. If the jawbone isn’t dense enough to support a dental implant this doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t get dental implants. What your doctor can do is perform a simple bone graft to rebuild and strengthen the jawbone. After bone grafting, the jawbone should be strong enough to support a dental implant.
There are other factors to consider as well. If you have any uncontrolled or untreated health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure or heart disease these are issues you will also need to properly address with a doctor before getting dental implants. After all, the implant process requires surgery and extensive recovery time. If you aren’t completely healthy this can impede the healing process.
Furthermore, smokers are not ideal candidates for implants. It’s highly advised that you quit smoking before getting implants. This is because smokers are significantly more likely to deal with implant failure than someone who doesn’t smoke. Also, smoking slows down your body’s natural healing response, which means that recovering from implant surgery may take far longer than someone who isn’t a smoker.
Here at Hoffmaster Dental in York, PA, we are dedicated to helping you achieve a beautiful, healthy smile. No matter whether you need to schedule a routine cleaning or you are interested in getting dental implants, call our office today to schedule an appointment with us.
Losing teeth will certainly disrupt your otherwise beautiful smile. It could also potentially affect your food choices and whether or not you receive proper nutrition.
But something else just as consequential could be happening beneath the surface of your gums—you could be losing bone. Significant bone loss in the jaw could adversely affect remaining teeth and facial structure, as well as limit your future restoration choices.
To understand why this occurs we must first consider what bone is: living, cellular tissue. Like the body's other cells, bone has a life cycle: cells form, live and eventually dissolve (or resorb), and are then replaced by new cells. Stimulation from forces generated during chewing traveling up through the tooth roots to the jawbone keep this cycle going at a healthy pace.
But when a tooth is missing, so is this stimulation. This could slow the replacement rate and cause bone volume to gradually decrease. The jawbone width could decrease by as much as 25% the first year alone and several millimeters in height after just a few years.
Although dentures (a popular and affordable choice) can restore lost function and appearance, they can't duplicate this needed stimulation. They even accelerate bone loss by irritating and creating compressive forces on the bony ridges and the gums they rest upon.
One restoration, however, can actually help stop bone loss and may even reverse it: dental implants. This happens because an implant's metal titanium post imbedded in the jawbone attracts bone cells to grow and adhere to its surface. This could actually increase bone density at the site.
To gain this advantage, it's best to obtain implants as soon as possible after tooth loss. If you allow bone loss to occur by waiting too long, there may not be enough to properly support an implant. Even then it might be possible to build up the diminished bone through grafting. But if that's not possible, we'll have to consider a different restoration.
To determine the condition of your bone after losing teeth, visit us for a complete examination. Afterward, we'll be able to discuss with you the best way to address both your overall dental health and your smile.
If you would like more information on treating missing teeth, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “The Hidden Consequences of Losing Teeth.”