Losing a tooth can be embarrassing and frustrating, but not replacing that tooth could lead to the loss of more teeth.
Replacing Lost Teeth Saves More Teeth
Studies show, within four years of losing a tooth (that is not replaced), people tend to lose additional teeth. Why? Our mouths are designed with 32 adult teeth, the number required to effectively masticate food. With fewer than 32 teeth, existing teeth have to endure more work. In addition, when teeth are lost, the body redirects minerals that were formerly sent to the jawbone. Over time, the jaw loses density and begins to recede in the area where the tooth root is missing.
If you have excellent oral health, avoid injury and disease, and are fortunate enough to keep your adult teeth healthy, they can last a lifetime. Though 20 million Americans wear dentures, and statistically, by the age of 60, Americans are missing 9 teeth, tooth loss is not a mandatory part of aging. On the contrary, now more than ever, people are keeping their natural teeth throughout life.
Implants Mimic Nature
For those who lose one or more teeth, modern dentistry offers dental implants, a prosthetic that mimics the structure of natural teeth. In the past, bridges, partials, and dentures were secured to healthy oral structures. Bridges attach to teeth with crowns; partials clip onto healthy teeth; and dentures rely on natural suction or adhesive, as well as the ridges on gums. While these prosthetics have played an important role in oral health throughout history, dental implants offer a self-sustaining alternative.
A dental implant replaces the root and crown of a tooth. The root portion “tricks” the body into believing that a natural tooth is still in place, so the minerals required for maintaining good bone density are directed to the jaw as if a natural tooth is intact. One implant can hold one tooth, or a few implant posts can secure a bridge, partial, or denture.
Candidacy for Dental Implants
Sufficient oral health and jawbone density are prerequisites for successful dental implants. However, patients with poor oral health can work with Dr. Calcagno to restore health and become a candidate for implants. Likewise, if low bone density is an issue, Dr. Calcagno may suggest a bone graft to correct the problem.
Your Dental Implant Consultation
If you’re missing one or more teeth, need a bridge or partial replaced, or struggle with slipping, ill-fitting dentures, schedule a consultation with Rochester implant dentist, Dr. Janet Calcagno. She’ll assess your oral health, talk with you about your concerns and expectations, then devise a treatment plan to meet your needs. Our dental office serves patients from Rochester, Red Wing, St. Charles, Winona, Farmington, and the surrounding communities.