Everyone hopes that his or her natural teeth will last a lifetime. However, approximately 69 percent of patients between the ages of 35 and 44 have lost one or more teeth. By the time patients turn 74, about 26 percent have lost all of their permanent teeth. While gum disease is the number one cause of tooth loss among adults, other common causes include cavities and accidents resulting in patients needing at least one tooth restored.

Missing teeth damage the aesthetics of a patient’s smile and his or her oral health. When a restoration is not placed, the remaining teeth begin to drift. This can result in a misaligned bite, pockets that can trap plaque resulting in cavities, the development of gum disease, and the potential loss of more teeth.

When it comes to dental restorations patients generally are presented with two or three options. If the patient is missing multiple teeth, a partial denture may be listed as a restoration option in addition to fixed dental bridges and dental implants. The later options can be used to replace a single tooth or multiple teeth. All three can prevent the healthy teeth from shifting but dental implants are frequently the preferred restoration method.

The implant procedure

Dental implants are placed in the jawbone during a simple surgery that normally only requires local anesthetic. After they are placed, the jawbone will fuse to them in a process called osseointegration. This can take three to six months to complete, and the implant will be as strong as a tooth root. A dental crown can then be placed on it, or if a pair was placed, a dental bridge can complete the restoration.

Dental implants offer patients a number of benefits including:

  • Implants are the only restoration option that can prevent bone loss.
  • Dental implants do not rely on other teeth for strength or stability and do not require reshaping of other teeth like the way fixed dental bridges do.
  • They can provide patients with the most aesthetically pleasing restoration.
  • With proper care, they can last a lifetime.

The loss of a tooth can be devastating to your self-confidence, but Eastland Dental Center can provide you with a restoration that looks so natural no one will know that it is, in fact, a restoration. If you want to replace a missing tooth with a dental implant, call Eastland Dental Center’s office at (309) 663-4711 and schedule your appointment.

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