Dental Implants Pasadena Texas:
Why is it important to replace missing teeth with restorations such as dental implants? Patients are surprised to find that the damage caused by missing teeth is much greater than the simple gaps left in their smile.
As the years go by, teeth lost early in adulthood cause structural changes in a person’s face. This is because without teeth the bone in the jaw disappears. By age 45 changes in facial structure are already visible in the form of sunken cheeks.
By 60, cheeks and lips lose their support, resulting in an aging look. This loss of bone continues if the teeth are not replaced by dental implants. The only tooth replacement option that preserves bone is dental implants.
These facial changes are caused by loss of bone. Although it may seem static, bone is actually living tissue that needs constant stimulation to maintain its form and density. With normal stimulation it is in a constant state of resorption (breaking down) and deposition (building up). The chewing forces placed on teeth provide the needed stimulation for the jaw bone. When the stimulation continues, the bone continues to rebuild itself and remains healthy. Without this stimulation, the bone resorbs, does not build up again, and jawbone slowly melts away.
Without stimulation, alveolar bone loses width, height, and volume. Since your teeth and their surrounding bone support your chin, cheeks, and lips, this has a powerful effect on your appearance. It may also affect your ability to chew and to speak. The lower part of the face begins to collapse, and the cheeks become hollow. This effect is especially noticeable for people with no teeth (edentulous).
Usually the first tooth to be lost, due to infection and decay, is a molar (back tooth). In the past, a missing single back tooth was frequently replaced by a bridge. A crown is made for each of the two teeth on the sides of the gap, called abutment teeth, to support a false tooth in the middle. However, if they are not well cared for, the abutment teeth may be the next to succumb to decay. A bridge requires the irreversible grinding down of the teeth adjacent to the missing tooth space.
Today the treatment of choice is an implant. A dental implant does not damage the adjacent teeth like a bridge. A dental implant is a tooth-root replacement made of titanium, which fuses with the bone — making it very stable. The abutment screws into the implant and provides the foundation for a crown. The benefit of the implant is that it continues to provide stimulation to the alveolar bone, preventing bone loss.
Implants are also a good choice in the case of multiple missing teeth. They can be used to support bridges or false teeth (dentures). The results are an improved, younger appearance and better functionality.
Come see why our Pasadena, Texas dental office is considered the leading dental implant office in the surrounding area.