Healthy Smiles Premier Dental
ver 178 million Americans are missing at least one tooth and 40 million no longer have any teeth. This all-too-common problem starts earlier than one might expect: those ages 35-49 have lost an average of three and 50-64 average five!
Sometimes this is due to sports or vehicle accidents, but having multiple teeth no longer in their place is usually due to inadequate brushing and flossing. Everyone also needs to have a regular professional cleaning by a dental hygienist, who has the tools and techniques to do a better job than any patient can do for themselves.
Fortunately, there is an excellent replacement for any lost teeth: dental implants
Dr. Doostan and his team are experienced experts for what can be a permanent solution. The implant itself is a screw made of a biocompatible metal called titanium, which is a substitute for the root of the tooth, and is inserted into the empty tooth socket. After several months, this becomes integrated with the jawbone, holding it firmly in place, and is then attached to a dental crown, which replaces what would be the visible part of an actual tooth.
The big advantage of a dental implant is that it stops the natural erosion of the jaw if the missing tooth is not replaced soon after the loss. That is because without a tooth root or an implant in the socket, the mouth naturally causes the neighboring teeth to lean into the gap, which in turn starts a misalignment of other teeth on the arch, which are likely to eventually fall out. Dental bridges are not as helpful and do not last nearly as long as an implant. Dentures, partial or full, do not slow down this process at all.
Properly done, an implant could last over 20 years and even be a permanent solution. However, long-term success depends on several key factors. If you believe your implant is becoming loose, it is vital to immediately call Healthy Smiles Premier Dental and schedule a full oral exam to determine whether that is the case and why. Some issues could be:
°Most common is that the patient has not been consistent about brushing after breakfast for two minutes (to clean off not only the meal, but bacteria that accumulates in the mouth overnight) and then repeating this after dinner, when flossing is done. If the sticky bacterial film that forms around leftover particles is not removed within a few days, it will harden into tartar which gradually pulls the gums away from supporting the implant, just as it would with a tooth. Your hygienist can show you exactly how to do these things correctly. You may also need to have more frequent professional cleanings (twice a year is normal, unless you have periodontal or gum disease that is causing the implant to lose the support of the gums). Dr. Doostan may have to add some gum tissue.
°Another common reason for a loose implant is the loss of jawbone due to a periodontal infection and this could require a bone graft to replace the missing bone so the implant screw can integrate with this and hold the crown more firmly in place. This requires a CT scan to show the status of the jawbone.
- Other oral health factors could be the cause, such as excessive smoking, diabetes 2 that is not under control, or grinding your teeth while you sleep.
- A poorly placed implant by a dentist who was not experienced in dental implants could be another reason why one could become loose.
Call your nearest Healthy Smiles Premier Dental office today to set up a full oral examination.