Osseointegration and Dental Implants
At Pickens Family Dentistry, we understand how hard it can be to lose teeth. Many people see tooth extractions as the most cost-effective solution to many dental problems like severe decay or trauma. In reality, few dental issues end up being more costly in the long-run than tooth loss. One of the biggest problems with tooth loss is the hugely negative impact it has on your quality of life. It becomes difficult or impossible to eat the things you normally would and many times your face begins to lose it is the natural shape and begins to look sunken. Dental implants can restore your ability to eat and speak as you did before tooth loss, are more cost-effective in the long-run, and give you a perfect smile you have always wanted.
Bone Loss from Tooth LossWhen you lose a tooth and don’t replace it, there is often a cascade of negative effects. Neighboring teeth start to move around; your bite can change, more teeth are at risk of being lost. One of the biggest reasons that people who have lost teeth will continue to lose teeth is a bone loss in the jaw. Like any part of your body, your jaw requires constant feedback to stay happy and healthy. Your jawbone receives feedback from the roots of your teeth as they touch each other and help you to chew food. When a tooth is lost, the jawbone is at risk of atrophy, and when things in your body atrophy they start to wither away. This is where dental implants and osseointegration come in.
Preventing Bone Loss With Implants and OsseointegrationOsseointegration describes the body accepting and growing around an artificial implant. In this case, we use titanium dental implants that we surgically place into the bone of your jaw. Titanium is a well-known biocompatible material that is readily accepted by the human body. After we place a dental implant into your jaw, we will leave it to heal for some time. During this healing period, the bone in your jaw will grow around the titanium dental implant, forming a strong structural and functional bond with it. By forming this bond with the dental implant, the bone in your jaw receives the benefit of the constant feedback that it needs to stay healthy, and you receive the benefit of functional and permanent prosthetic teeth that can last you a lifetime!
The Osseointegration Healing ProcessThe healing process for dental implants varies from person to person and is heavily reliant on the health of the patient’s mouth. For someone who has only lost a single tooth and is looking to replace it right away with a dental implant, the osseointegration process can take only a month or so. Conversely, if you have experienced significant tooth loss and have some limiting oral health conditions, the healing process can take several months. We will be able to give you an idea of how long we expect your healing process to take once we do a consultation with you and take some scans of your mouth.
Call us today at (360) 447-6355 to schedule your no-obligation dental implant consultation.