After the age of 13, your teeth are meant to last the rest of your life. However, infections and injuries may make it so that one or more of your natural teeth can no longer survive. In these situations, it is a good idea to visit a dentist as soon as possible. San Jose prosthodontist Dr. Ashwini Bhave encourages you to make replacing the tooth a priority for some of the following reasons:
Maintaining a Beautiful Smile and Face
It’s hard to conceal a vacant space in your smile, so the sooner you replace your tooth, the sooner you can restore confidence in your appearance. Moreover, your remaining teeth tend to shift toward a vacant space in a row of teeth. The longer you leave a gap in your smile, the more misaligned your teeth can become.
Don’t worry, dental implants look very realistic. You can choose one that matches the shape and color of your other natural teeth so that it looks like a normal smile.
Even your facial structure can suffer because of a vacant space. Since your jawbone starts to erode without a tooth (or implant), your face may start to appear sunken.
Improving Your Health
Tooth roots help to keep your jawbone strong. When a tooth comes out, a dental implant can provide the same benefits by stimulating tooth roots. This prevents erosion, a problem that may otherwise weaken your bite and jeopardize the health of adjacent teeth.
Gum disease is more common for people who have a missing tooth. Since it is much easier to brush and floss with a full row of teeth, having a complete smile (even if some teeth are dental implants) can prevent gingivitis and more advanced stages of periodontitis. Remember that gum disease increases your risk of other maladies like heart disease, diabetes, and stroke, so being proactive can also be good for the health of your whole body.
Acknowledging That Dental Implants Are Not Instantaneous
Dental implants are a multi-step process. Unfortunately, it’s not realistic to expect a tooth to be replaced the day you show up to our office. First, Dr. Bhave surgically attaches a titanium post to your jawbone. Only after your gums heal and the post melds with your jaw over the next several months is the post strong enough to hold a permanent dental implant. (A lightweight, temporary tooth is attached to the post in the meantime for cosmetic purposes.)
This process can be even longer if your jawbone is not strong enough to hold an implant. In that case, Dr. Bhave performs a bone grafting procedure that attaches donor bone to your jaw so that it is strong enough for an implant.
Visit a Dental Implant Expert
As a prosthodontist, Dr. Bhave specializes in tooth replacement. Since you can be confident in the quality of care at Bay Area Dental Specialists, you have no excuse to procrastinate if you have a missing tooth. To learn more about dental implants, as well as other tooth replacement options, please schedule an appointment by calling (408) 809-7760.