Do you suffer from tooth loss? According to a recent study conducted by the American Association or Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, 69% of adults over the age of 35 are missing at least one permanent tooth. As we age, the rate of tooth loss often increases. The study went on to reveal that by age 74, over 26% of adults have lost all of their teeth. Addressing missing teeth early helps improve the health and beauty of your smile, preventing further tooth loss. At Lake Forest Dental Arts, we provide a durable and esthetically pleasing solution for tooth loss: dental implants. In today’s blog, your Lake Forest dentist, Dr. James Fondriest, explains the importance of replacing lost teeth and discusses the advantages of dental implants.
What are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are biocompatible titanium posts that are inserted directly into the jawbone. The first step involves a comprehensive examination from Dr. Fondriest. In order to receive implants, we first need to make sure your jawbone tissue can support the implant posts. If not, you may require a bone graft. After the examination, Dr. Fondriest will begin planning the placement of the implant and taking impressions of your mouth. The impressions will be used to help craft your new restorations. Next, working with an oral surgeon, your implant posts will be placed. As the area heals, the jawbone tissue bonds with the posts. This process is referred to as “osseointegratrion”. Next, an abutment will be added to the implant. The abutment will hold a crown into place, restoring your tooth to full function and beauty. A set of full or partial dentures can also be placed onto the implant posts, providing fixed dentures that don’t slip or require adhesives. We plan each step of the implant and cosmetic process, often consulting with surgeons and radiologists. Dr. Fondriest wants to ensure your restorations blend seamlessly with your smile and reflect your unique facial structure.
Causes of Tooth Loss
A variety of factors can lead to tooth loss, such as trauma. Other times, a tooth may need to be extracted to reduce crowding or prevent the spread of infection. The most common cause, however, is gum disease. Periodontal disease is typically the result of poor oral hygiene or hormonal fluctuations. Patients with gum disease report sore, red gums that bleed easily. Without treatment, gum disease may lead to loose or even lost teeth. The best method for preventing tooth loss via gum disease or tooth decay is with preventive dentistry. Maintain good dental habits, including routine brushing and flossing, and always attend checkups and cleanings with your Lake Forest cosmetic dentist.
Health Risks Associated with Tooth Loss
When you lose a tooth, the surrounding teeth may drift towards the empty socket. Soon, you can develop unsightly misalignment, which increases the risk of tooth decay, gum disease, and further tooth loss. Missing teeth also cause the body to stop supplying surrounding jawbone tissue with doses of calcium and phosphorus. Deprived of these nutrients, the jawbone begins to dissolve. Loss of bone density leads to elevated tooth loss and altered the facial structure. Many patients develop jowls, sunken cheeks, and even a ptotic, or witch’s, chin. Dental implants are accepted by the body as natural teeth, so the body resumes the flow of nutrients. With implant dentistry, you can preserve both your smile and your youthful features.
Caring for Your Implants
In order to maintain your implants, simply care them as you would your natural teeth. Each day, brush your teeth twice and floss once. This helps cleanse your mouth of the harmful bacteria and stray food particles, reducing the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. In addition, always attend routine cleanings. During a cleaning, the plaque and tartar coating your teeth and implants will be removed, aiding in the prevention of gum disease. In addition to causing tooth loss, gum disease also leads to implant failure. With regular dental maintenance, you can help your implant stay strong, keeping your smile beautiful.
Schedule an Appointment with Your Lake Forest Cosmetic Dentist
For people missing one or more teeth, dental implants provide crucial tooth replacement. To learn more about our implant procedures, talk to your cosmetic dentist today. Dr. James Fondriest will restore your smile with the latest in quality implant dentistry. To schedule an appointment, call our dentist office at (847) 234-0517. Also, visit our dental website for services, testimonials, and before-and-after gallery. At Lake Forest Dental Arts, we provide our patients with general, cosmetic, and restorative dental care. Dr. Fondriest and his staff welcome patients from Lake Forest and the surrounding cities/municipalities of the Chicago metro area.