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When it comes to good dental health, Americans don’t do such a good job. According to the CDC, by the time teenagers are 17, roughly 7% of them have lost a minimum of one permanent tooth to decay or gum disease. That number skyrockets to 69% for adults aged 35-44, and at 50, they’ve lost an average of 12 teeth.
Tooth loss impacts many things, including how you appear, how you feel about yourself, your oral health, and your overall health. There’s no upside to losing teeth.
At Smylique Dentistry, the dental office of Dr. Indra Quagliata in Brighton, Rochester, New York, she and her expert team do everything they can to save your teeth. When that isn’t possible, however, they use state-of-the-art technology to replace what’s been damaged or lost. One of the best options for restoring your smile is with dental implants. Here’s what you need to know about the process.
How missing teeth impact your oral health
A key risk to your oral health is missing teeth, and research shows that the risk increases with each additional missing tooth. Some problems that could occur include:
The dental implant process
Dental implants are essentially replacement tooth roots, and they serve as a strong foundation for either fixed or removable replacement teeth that sit above them, which are made to match your natural teeth.
First, the dentist secures the implant, a small, biocompatible titanium post, within the bone socket of the missing tooth. As the jaw heals, it grows around the post, firmly and permanently anchoring it. The healing process takes about 6-12 weeks, during which time you wear a temporary crown to fill the gap.
Once the implant has fused with the bone, the dentist attaches a small connector post — known as an abutment — to the titanium root. Its purpose is to support the crown or removable artificial tooth that will rest above it. Instead of a single or multiple crowns, some patients prefer to get a removable denture. It, too, rests on top of the abutment.
Your dentist will match the color of the crown to your natural teeth around it. And because the implant is secured within the jawbone, it looks, feels, and functions the way your natural teeth do. The implant is even sturdy enough that chewing on the biting surface helps stimulate bone growth in the jaw.
The team at Smylique Dentistry offers two additional features to the implant process for their patients. The first is cone beam computed tomography (CBCT), a specialized type of X-ray that creates a 3D image of your mouth. The precision of the CBCT image allows Dr. Quagliata both to help you decide on the best treatment plan and to guide her around the nerves and soft tissue during the procedure, increasing precision.
The second is platelet-rich fibrin (PRF). We draw a small amount of your blood, then spin it in a centrifuge to separate out the platelets, which contain a large amount of growth factors. The platelets are formed into a mesh placed directly over the implant area. By using PRF during the healing process, the jaw can heal much more quickly.
Do you have one or more teeth that are missing and are looking for an effective solution? As long as you’re finished growing and your gums are healthy, you should be a good candidate for dental implants. Give Smylique Dentistry a call at 585-207-2159, or book your consultation online today.