How Dental Implants Can Boost Your Confidence and Improve Your Oral Health

Losing a permanent tooth or teeth is traumatic. Not only have you lost an essential body part, it’s a body part that’s highly visible. The gap in your gums leaves you open to infection, and to ridicule. You might start hiding your smile, or even avoiding social events, so that you don’t have to reveal the hole in your pearly rows.

The American College of Prosthodontics estimates that 120 million people in the U.S. are missing at least one tooth from a variety of causes ranging from injury to periodontal disease, that another 36 million have no teeth, and that these numbers are expected to grow within the next 20 years.

But while we haven’t yet figured out how to regenerate adult teeth, technology has advanced enough to offer something just as beautiful and functional: A dental implant. A dental implant replaces both essential parts of a natural tooth, the root, and the crown.

At Northern Virginia Oral, Maxillofacial & Implant Surgery — with locations in Burke, Reston, and Alexandria, Virginia — our expert dentists offer dental implants to replace just one, several, or an entire mouth of missing teeth. Dental implants aren’t just the best-looking solution to tooth loss, they help preserve your oral health, too.

A dental implant looks like a tooth

Your natural tooth consists of a crown — the part of the tooth you see above the gum line — and a root — the part of the tooth that extends down through your gum and into your jaw bone. The root holds the crown in place and stabilizes it. 

A dental implant also has a crown and a root. The “root” looks like a screw and is made of titanium, a metal that’s strong, biocompatible, and non-corrosive. Your dentist inserts the titanium implant into the gap left by your missing tooth, through the gum and deep into the jaw bone.

Your dentist then covers the portion of the implant that extends slightly above your gumline with an abutment cap. The false crown, which is made of porcelain or composite materials, then fits over the abutment cap. Your completed dental implant looks just like a single, natural tooth, complete with root and crown.

A dental implant acts like a tooth

When you chew your food, the pressure travels from the edge of your front teeth or the surface of your molars down through the root and into the jaw bone.  When your jaw bone is stimulated by the force of chewing, it creates new bone cells to keep your bones strong and dense.

Like a real tooth, the false crown and implant transmit the pressure of chewing to your jawbone so that it keeps making new bone cells. A dental implant doesn’t just look more like a real tooth, it’s the only form of tooth replacement that mimics the stress-producing action of a tooth to keep your jawbone in a constant state of renewal. 

By stimulating your jawbone while you eat, the dental implant prevents the bone atrophy you might have noticed in people who wear dentures. You maintain your facial shape and length for a healthier and more youthful look.

A dental implant blends right in

Once you have your dental implant or implants, your smile looks as natural and healthy as it did before your tooth loss. You can smile as broadly as you want, because your expertly crafted, customized implants look just like your real teeth. 

After you get your implants, you might forget you ever lost a tooth. You take care of your implants just as you would your natural teeth. You don’t have to worry about someone seeing you without your dentures, or finding a bridge or denture soaking in a glass by your bed.

Instead, brush your teeth twice a day, floss at least once a day, and get a professional cleaning and checkup twice a year. You don’t have to buy any special soaking solutions or adhesives, either. Just use your regular toothbrush and toothpaste.

Feel like yourself again by replacing missing teeth with dental implants. Contact the Northern Virginal Oral, Maxillofacial & Implant Surgery office nearest you by phone or online appointment form to set up a dental implant consultation.

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