If accident or disease has left you without a tooth, have no fear. Modern prosthetic dentistry offers a few options for replacing missing teeth. For a single missing tooth, dental implants offer a secure, natural looking treatment. How do they work? Rochester dentist, Dr. Gilly Calcagno, explains.
The Importance of Replacing Teeth
When you lose a permanent tooth, your mouth can undergo serious changes. Unreplaced teeth negatively affect bone density and tooth alignment. When teeth are anchored in the jaw, the body senses movements of ligaments between teeth and jawbone tissue. This stimulates the body to supply minerals, including calcium and phosphorus, which are important to bone density. When teeth are missing, the body reappropriates nutrients to other parts of the body, and the jawbone loses integrity, shrinking as it deteriorates over time. Facial collapse, the caving of cheeks and curling of lips, can occur with multiple missing teeth. As an empty socket remains unfilled, teeth surrounding the gap in gums shift and misalign. Quickly filling the empty tooth socket with a replacement tooth can prevent jawbone deterioration and crooked teeth. Some prosthetic dentistry options, like bridges, require altering existing teeth to anchor replacement teeth to crowns. To keep natural teeth fully intact, some patients prefer dental implants.
Replacing Teeth with Dental Implants
Placing dental implants is a simple procedure. Dr. Calcagno places a small rod made of titanium into jawbone. This rod serves as the artificial tooth root for the dental implant. After osseointegration, when jawbone bonds to the implant, a porcelain crown is attached to the titanium rod. The porcelain is color-matched to your natural teeth, so your replacement tooth will blend in with your smile. Dental implants can also anchor implant dentures to replace an entire arch of teeth. With single dental implants or implant dentures, replacement teeth function like natural, healthy teeth because they are anchored in the jawbone. Your new implant will work and look like your natural teeth.
Schedule an Appointment with Your Rochester Dentist
Dental implants may not be right for every patient. Healthy bone tissue, gums, and teeth allow for a simpler, safer tooth replacement. For an oral examination, and to discuss the tooth replacement process, meet with Dr. Calcagno. Schedule an appointment at our 55902 dentist office by calling (507) 281-3659 today. We welcome patients from Rochester, Red Wing, St. Charles, Winona, Farmington, and surrounding areas.