Whether you are missing one or several of your natural teeth, you may be considering implant teeth to replace them. Dental implants are a popular choice and an excellent option for teeth restoration for several reasons. Some of the most common ones include that they look and function like natural teeth and the procedure replaces missing roots as well as teeth. Since they are permanently attached to your jaw, you care for them the same way that you do your natural teeth.
Removable dentures are known to cause facial sagging after many years of use. Perhaps you feel concerned that receiving implant teeth will change the appearance of your face as well. We explore this question below.
Changes to Your Facial Structure Due to Missing Teeth
The bones in your mouth require calcium for survival. When your body senses that your jawbone no longer contains bone, it pulls calcium from the jaw and sends it to other parts of the body. This process is called resorption. It occurs because the tooth you are now missing once provided a constant source of stimulation to the jawbone. When the stimulation is no longer present, it tricks your body into believing that the jawbone is no longer useful.
As your jawbone continues to deteriorate over time, it causes the facial bone to shrink. You might even see this in older people who still have all of their natural teeth. A sunken jawbone can make you appear older than your actual age. The good news is that implant teeth can halt the process of jawbone deterioration and the appearance of sunken cheeks.
Replacement Tooth Roots and the Process of Osseointegration
The first step to receiving implant teeth at Greater Atlanta Oral Facial Surgery is for one of our oral surgeons to place a small titanium rod in the place that used to contain roots to your missing tooth. The post goes under your gums and secures to your jawbone. Your body does not recognize it as titanium and reacts to it in the same way it does your natural roots. That means it will continually deposit small amounts of bone around the implant in a process known as osseointegration.
It can take several weeks to months to complete osseointegration. However, it is well worth the wait because it provides you with the same level of stability as a natural tooth. The implant acts as the new root from that point forward, which means that it stops the resorption process.
Schedule an Implant Teeth Procedure as Soon as Possible
During the first year after the loss of a tooth, you can lose up to 25 percent of the bone width. This can quickly alter your facial appearance as well as your smile. If you have lost a tooth due to trauma, contact our emergency line and we will attempt to reattach the tooth when you reach our office. For tooth loss due to dental disease or when it is not possible to save a tooth lost to trauma, we encourage you to schedule a consultation to discuss dental implants with the first week if possible. We know that you will be happy with your decision.