Losing a tooth isn’t something you’re likely to forget, but with the right dental prosthesis, your smile can look and function as though it never happened. The most comprehensive tooth replacements are supported by dental implants, which are surgically inserted into the jawbone where your teeth once were. Implants replace your teeth’s roots the way bridges and dentures replace their crowns (top portions), providing a more stable and long-lasting solution to tooth loss. Their longevity, however, depends largely on how well you take care of them, and how effectively you can keep them safe from developing dental diseases.
The Nature of Dental Diseases
The most common cause of tooth loss is dental disease, although teeth are also frequently lost to accidental trauma. Cavities and gum disease, the most common and destructive dental health issues, both originate from excessive bacteria and dental plaque buildup. Dental plaque is a biofilm that bacteria create to protect themselves, and poor hygiene can allow it to overwhelm your teeth and gums, eventually destroying the components of your smile.
Not EXACTLY Like Natural Teeth
As the only method for rebuilding roots to support your replacement teeth, dental implants can boast of being the closest replica of your natural teeth. Still, they aren’t real teeth roots, and the porcelain restoration (i.e., crown, partial, or complete denture) isn’t made from organic tooth structure. Porcelain restorations aren’t subject to cavity development, but the teeth surrounding them still are, and daily hygiene is as important with dental implants as it was before you lost your tooth or teeth.
Even Implants Need Support
Gingivitis is the beginning stage of gum disease—the leading cause of adult tooth loss in the United States. It describes a bacterial infection in the soft pink tissue surrounding your teeth’s roots, and involves rampant inflammation that irreversibly damages your gums. In its advanced stages, the infection can also deteriorate the jawbone underneath your gum tissue. Unchecked gum disease can destroy the structures that support your natural and prosthetic teeth, and preventing or controlling the disease is vital to the long-term success of your dental implants.
About Your Livonia Dentist:
James Steward, DDS, and our compassionate staff proudly serve patients of all ages from Livonia, Farmington Hills, Plymouth, Northville, Dearborn Heights, Garden City, and all surrounding communities. To schedule an appointment, call our office today at (734) 425-4400.