The tooth about dental implants
Dental implant treatment is a comprehensive approach to replacing a missing tooth
More than a third of the Australian population above the age of 45 are missing at least two teeth. Three-quarters of that number will do nothing about it. Which is bad. For them. Tooth loss, if left untreated can cause further tooth loss, not to mention a whole mess of other oral health problems
What not replacing a missing tooth could do to your oral health
When you lose a tooth the part of the jawbone which holds the tooth starts to dissolve. This happens as soon as the tooth is lost and can start to affect the teeth on either side of the gap, causing further tooth loss.
A lost tooth also invites gum disease due to infection: gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults. Not only that, gum disease has been linked to:
- Heart attacks
- Chronic kidney disease
This link is due to two things: chronic inflammation and bacteria travelling up veins into your bloodstream. In one study it was ascertained that the bacteria in gum disease was found in the plaque on the brain associated with early onstage Alzheimer’s. It has also been argued that in some cases cholesterol is not the cause of heart problems but chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation inflames blood vessels and suddenly healthy amounts of cholesterol start becoming blocked causing severe problems.
A missing tooth can cause a crooked bite
When you lose a tooth, the teeth on either side of the gap shift in an attempt to close the gap. This causes a crooked bite and can contribute to gum disease as well as malocclusion. Malocclusion or bad bite affects your jaw and neck muscles. Patients with a bad bite often experience tension headaches, neck and upper back pain.
You could just replace the tooth
Many of our patients at Bruce Stevens Dental are surprised to find out just how much one missing tooth can throw their whole oral heath out of whack.
The dental implant treatment is a fairly straightforward process. You visit Bruce Stevens Dental for a consultation where we discuss with you exactly what’s involved in the treatment. Then during a comprehensive check-up we will take x-rays to ensure you have adequate jawbone material for implant placement.
Once that is done we will sit with you and map your treatment. Typically, dental implants takes between 4 and 6 months and takes four appointments:
- Check-up and examination
- Implant placement
- Attaching the abutment and taking mould for dental crown or bridge
- Placement of crown or bridge
Dental implant treatment can take up to 6 months because 3 months generally need to elapse between the second and third appointment. When the dental implant is surgically placed at the site of the tooth root your jaw needs time to fuse with the dental implant. Then generally two weeks will elapse between the third and fourth appointment while your gums heal around the abutment and the dental crown or bridge is fabricated.
The dental implant itself can last for life, provided you:
- Attend regular check-ups
- Brush your teeth twice a day
- Floss once a day
The dental crown or bridge usually has a lifespan of 15-20 years, and this does depend on how well you look after the restoration.