The Missing Tooth
Losing a tooth is not a pleasant experience whenever or however it happens, not only because it makes eating difficult, but also because of the ugly gap in your smile, so it is no wonder that people look for dental prosthetics to fill the space. Filling the gap is a good idea regardless of the chewing or aesthetic factor, as when you have a gap, other teeth begin to move to fill the space, which can cause further complications and may make your cheeks sink, making you look older.
The two major options available before the introduction of dental implants have been bridges and dentures, both of which have some drawbacks. The bridge requires grinding down the tooth on either side of the gap, over which a three-tooth crown is then fitted, with the teeth to the left and right supporting the bridged gap. Not only does this require work on otherwise healthy teeth, but the gap behind the middle tooth is a potential collection area for food remains, which could cause gum infections. The dentures are not suitable for all people and need to fit perfectly, or they can move while talking, making you sound slurred, or worse, while eating, which is very uncomfortable.
The Dental Implant
The implant works through the installation of a post being inserted directly into the bone of the jaw, which through a procedure known as osseointegration fuses to the bone, making it permanent. A crown can then be fitted to the implanted post and you have a tooth that looks, feels and works just like the real thing. You will need to have a required amount of bone to work with, without which a bone graft may be required. The process has to be performed precisely, to ensure that the occlusion, or bite is perfectly lined up and that the structural integrity of the teeth is evenly distributed.
It doesn’t matter if you use a dentist in Everton Park or wherever you are located. There is no avoiding a fairly lengthy recovery period, from what is after all, a fairly major invasive surgery. You may experience some swelling of the gums, along with minor bleeding and bruising around the implant site, and pain is generally reported as fairly minimal. Diligent oral hygiene is of paramount importance, to keep the site clean of any possible infection, while the implant is fusing with the bone. For about a week, you should avoid putting any pressure on to the site, which means a strictly soft food diet. Your dentist will advise you on when you can move to something firmer, though it can take six months for the implant to fully fuse, so some very hard foods will be off the menu for quite a while.
Care and Maintenance
While individual cases healing time is different, it is important that your implant is checked regularly by your dental treatment provider to monitor progress and look for any sign that something is wrong. Good oral hygiene practice is essential, to avoid any chance of bacteria or infection getting to the implant site. A dental implant though, will work as good, or better than the real thing, and should leave you with a great tooth for the rest of your life.