Your dentist’s priority is always to save your tooth. However, some situations can result in an extraction or loss of the tooth. A missing tooth in the front of the mouth can usually seem like a higher priority because of the huge impact on the appearance. But a tooth missing in the back of the smile can have a huge impact on your mouth. Missing teeth can limit your chewing and biting functions. Depending on the location of the missing tooth, your speech function can also be impacted. A dental implant can restore these functions for you, as well as adding some additional benefits.
Minimizing bone loss
When a tooth is extracted or lost, the roots are no longer in the tissue or jawbone. Without the roots stimulating the bone, resorption can occur. Resorption is when the body begins to take back the minerals from the bone because it knows it is not being used in the current location. Bone resorption will cause the jaw bone to soften. This softening of the bone will cause an unstable foundation for the teeth remaining in that area. Think of it like a building a neighborhood on top of quicksand. A dental implant can stimulate the tissue keeping the resorption at bay.
What to expect
Your dentist will coordinate with an oral surgeon to create a plan for your dental implant. The implant post needs to naturally integrate with your bone through a process called osseointegration. This process takes different amounts of time for different people. Generally the process will take three to six months. During this time, you will wear a temporary restoration. Once the posts have maximum stability, your dentist will secure a permanent restoration in the place of the temporary one.
A dental implant can restore function
Dr. Allen or Dr. Neumann can help you decide if a dental implant is right for you. Schedule a consultation by calling our family dentistry office in Pella, IA, at (641) 628-1121.