If you’re missing one or more teeth, you may not feel very confident about your smile, but it’s the damage you can’t see that will hurt you. Gaps left by missing teeth can have detrimental long term effects on your oral health. At Comal Dental, we want to help you restore your smile with dental implants. Dr. David Earnest is a dedicated member of both the Academy of Osseointegration, and the International Congress of Oral Implantologists. Dr. Earnest is the expert for dental implants in New Braunfels, TX and surrounding areas. Call to schedule your appointment today.
The Importance of Replacement
Whether you’re missing one tooth or twenty, it’s essential that you receive restorative dental care as soon as possible. Missing teeth may seem insignificant (especially if it doesn’t affect your smile), but spaces left by missing teeth can cause serious oral health concerns down the road. If you have any experience with braces or other bite alignment options, you know that teeth can move through gum tissue. When teeth move to fill the gap left by missing teeth, this is called dental drift. An empty socket and shift teeth can make it difficult or painful to eat, talk, or swallow.
Lost gum tissue and bone density can also occur as a direct result of missing teeth. Our gums are shaped by the roots of our teeth, and form to protect them and hold them in place. Without a tooth, the gum tissue diminishes. Additionally, bones require stimulation to maintain their density. Movement stimulates bone growth. This is why aging people are more likely to develop osteoporosis, as we move less our bones can decrease in density. The same thing is true of our jaw bone. The movements of our teeth provide stimulation to promote jawbone density. Without the root of the tooth to stimulate it, jawbone density diminishes.
How Implants Work
Unlike traditional tooth replacement techniques, dental implants don’t just replace the surface of the tooth. Implants replace the whole tooth from the root up. Patients interested in dental implants should expect at least three dental visits. The first visit will be a consultation and examination. Dr. Earnest will help you determine whether you’re a good candidate for dental implants, and if so, you will determine the best treatment plan.
The second visit dental implants will be placed below the gums. Dental implants are titanium posts that function similarly to the root of your tooth. Once your implant or implants have been inserted, you will need to wait for your gums to heal and for the implant to fuse with your bone (this fusion process is called osseointegration). This requires some patience as the process can take anywhere between a few weeks and few months. You will receive temporary replacement teeth during this time.
Once osseointegration has occurred, you will be fitted with a beautiful, custom made dental prosthetic. This prosthetic will be permanently attached to the dental implants. This means your replacement teeth look and feel just like your natural teeth. You can eat whatever foods you desire, and continue your regular daily hygiene routine.
Are You a Good Candidate for Dental Implants?
Without a personal consultation, it is difficult to know whether a patient is a successful candidate for dental implants. Most people who are healthy enough for minimally invasive medical procedures can safely and successfully receive dental implants. To find out more about your tooth replacement options, call Comal Dental to schedule your consultation. Dr. Earnest and his outstanding team welcome patients from the New Braunfels, TX area including San Marcos and Northcliff.