You have several options when it comes to tooth replacement, including dentures, dental bridges, and dental implants. One of the greatest benefits of choosing to replace a missing tooth with a dental implant is that the procedure also replaces the roots from your natural tooth. Dental implants look the most natural compared to other tooth replacement options, returns your bite strength, and remain permanently affixed to your jaw. These are just some of the many reasons that dental implants have quickly become the preferred method of tooth replacement.
Once you have decided to pursue dental implants, it’s time to choose a dentist to place them. This type of oral surgery can be complex and requires technology that enables the dentist to place each dental implant correctly. We are happy to let you know that Cedar Walk Dentistry uses a computerized surgical guide with every dental implant placement.
How Our Dentists Use a Surgical Guide to Place Dental Implants
During one of your first appointments to prepare for dental implant surgery, your dentist prepares a surgical guide by taking an impression of the area surrounding your missing tooth. This information goes to a software program that creates a map for your dentist to use on the day of your oral surgery. The images are three-dimensional for added clarity and precision of placement. Our surgical guide also produces a clear retainer that slips over your teeth to allow your dentist to easily identify where to place each dental implant.
Placing dental implants correctly is critical to ensure that they don’t fail later. Dentists without access to this technology take the chance on placing a dental implant in the wrong spot due to poor lighting, an awkward angle, or space limitations in the patient’s mouth. Improperly placed dental implants can cause additional oral health issues. Besides accurate placement, surgical guides make it possible to complete the dental implant process faster and give patients valuable peace of mind.
Potential Issues Caused by Not Replacing Missing Teeth
Whether you lose a tooth due to an accident or had it extracted due to dental disease, we recommend replacing the missing tooth as soon as possible. Although you may become accustomed to not having the tooth and seem fine without it, missing teeth can have a long-term negative impact on your jaws and gums.
The biggest reason for this is that your jaws and gums must work extra hard to chew and break down your food into small enough pieces for you to swallow and digest properly. Excessive wear on your jaw and gums can eventually cause temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ), a common but painful condition requiring additional treatment.
You also lose bone when you have a missing tooth. This happens almost immediately after losing the tooth since the bone receives no stimulation from chewing. Bone loss can be significant by the end of the first year, which is the reason we recommend scheduling a prompt appointment to discuss your tooth replacement options. Unfortunately, bone loss can affect nearby teeth and possibly cause those teeth to loosen or require extraction.
Premature aging of the face is another common problem associated with tooth loss. When you don’t replace missing teeth, it can cause the skin surrounding your chin and jaw to sag inward and make you look several years older. The good news is that you won’t experience any of these negative effects of tooth loss when you schedule dental implant surgery as soon as possible.
Schedule a Consultation to See if Dental Implants Are Right for You
We invite you to contact Cedar Walk Dentistry in Charlotte, North Carolina to request a time to meet with one of our experienced dentists. Your dentist will take several impressions and describe what to expect with the dental implant process. You may reach us at 704-542-9923 or complete an appointment request form on our website.