Periodontics is a branch of dentistry that prioritizes issues that affect the gums and the bone structures that hold teeth in place. It also includes replacing missing teeth with restorations like implants. Periodontics favors implants because these are the only teeth replacement options that replace teeth roots. Other oral prosthetics, like dentures and bridges, only replace a tooth's visible part.
Replacing the lost root helps preserve bone tissues in the jaw. These often deteriorate when a tooth falls out due to not getting the stimulation that they need to be healthy. Bone tissues need regular stimulation to tell them to produce new healthy cells, and atrophy occurs when they stop getting it. Implants are inserted into the jaw, so they transfer bite forces into it, keeping the bone tissues there stimulated.
How dental implants are used in periodontics
Dental implants are suggested when a patient has one or more missing teeth. They are versatile restorations that can be combined with crowns, dentures, and bridges. Implants are nearly as stable as real teeth, so they feel natural in the patient's mouth.
Installing dental implants
The process starts with the dentist examining the patient to determine if implants are right for them. Their placement requires surgery, and some people are not healthy enough for that. The dentist will go over the person's medical and health history, looking for issues that could complicate the procedure, like diabetes or immune system disorders.
The dentist will also go over the patient’s habits to determine if they might interfere with their recovery. Excessive drinking or using tobacco slows down the recovery process and increases the risk of complications. Certain medications, like blood thinners, can also hinder the recovery process.
Lastly, the dentist might take an X-ray to evaluate the patient's jawbone. Implants are inserted into the jaw, so it needs to be able to hold implants while still leaving room for the nerves at the bottom of the jaw. Patients who have lost bone tissues in their jaw due to not replacing their missing tooth immediately might need bone grafts to thicken their jawbone.
Once a patient has been cleared for implants, a date is set for their surgical procedure. The procedure starts with the dentist injecting the area being worked on with a local anesthetic so the patient does not feel any pain as they work.
A hole is drilled into the jaw and the implant is placed in it. The implant is given up to six months to bond with bone tissues around it via osteointegration. Once that is complete, the dentist attaches a restoration to the implant to fully replace the patient's lost tooth. The patient gets an artificial tooth that feels and looks natural and helps keep their jawbone healthy.
Implants are virtually as good as real teeth
You should seriously consider a dental implant if you have a missing tooth. Give us a call or stop by our West Roxbury clinic to set up an appointment with our dentist.
Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Periodontics in West Roxbury, MA.
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