Losing a tooth can be a traumatic blow to both your oral health and your confidence. Replacing it, therefore, can be vital to your self-esteem, as well as to protecting your mouth from further damage and loss. Although the idea of a dental bridge is not a new one, it remains a popular and effective method for replacing a single lost tooth, although the materials and anchoring apparatus have improved greatly over time. A conventional dental bridge consists of one or more false teeth, or pontics, with crowns on either side of the device. The outside crowns are placed on the teeth adjacent to the gap, called anchor teeth, to hold the bridge in place. As efficient as a dental bridge is, however, it is not always an ideal solution when considering every consequence of tooth loss. Encinitas periodontist, Dr. Ann Kania, explains how securing your replacement tooth to a dental implant can address the loss of your tooth root as well as the visible crown.
Because the outside crowns of a traditional bridge must be placed on your natural teeth, those anchor teeth must be recontoured by removing a small portion of enamel. While the amount removed is carefully calculated to disturb as little of your tooth as possible, most dentists would agree that leaving healthy teeth undisturbed is preferable whenever possible. A dental implant, on the other hand, serves as a prosthetic tooth root and offers a base for your restoration that is fused to your jawbone.
Tension from your tooth’s roots is the magnet that draws nutrients to your jaw. When that root is lost, so is the beacon, and your body will send fewer nutrients to support your jaw and remaining teeth. Over time, your jawbone can weaken from the reduction (atrophy), becoming too weak to support all of your remaining teeth and leading to more tooth loss. Since a dental implant restores the root, and therefore the stimulation, it helps prevent jawbone deterioration as well as steady your crown. This is similar to the benfits seen on your skeletal muscles with weight bearing exercise. Bone is retained with healthy tension and atrophies without this force. Move it or lose it.
Dental Implant Restorations in Encinitas
Dental implants are an option to replace missing teeth. For treatment to be successful, your smile’s foundation must be healthy and strong enough to support the dental implant. If you live in or near Encinitas, Dr. Kania can thoroughly inspect your periodontal health to determine if you are eligible for the procedure. To learn more, contact Dr. Kania at our Encinitas periodontal care office by calling (706) 642-0711. We serve patients from Encinitas, San Diego, Rancho Santa Fe, Del Mar, La Costa, and the neighboring communities.