Tooth loss happens as a result of decay and trauma. In some patients, a tooth may be missing from birth. No matter the reason, a missing adult tooth causes embarrassment and affects your confidence in your smile. A missing tooth not only causes a noticeable gap in your grin, but may also lead to the loss of other teeth. This is because the absence of the tooth greatly impacts the bite, which may put excessive pressure on surrounding teeth, leading to damage. It also affects the structure of the jaw bones, and impedes overall function within the mouth.

Fortunately, dental implants offer a solution to replacing missing teeth that’s both attractive and natural looking, as well as being strong and functional. Dr. Mary Lewis provides restoration of dental implants in Virginia Beach.

What are the Benefits of Dental Implants?

A dental implant replaces a missing tooth with an implant designed to resemble the form and function of a natural tooth. The tooth’s “root” is a titanium post implanted into the jaw bone. Patients with adequate structure and strength in their jaw find that dental implants provide a convenient and strong alternative to bridgework and dentures. While partial dentures and bridgework may require special diet restrictions (due to their inability to handle chewing very hard or sticky foods), regular removal and cleaning, and other special care considerations, a dental implant ultimately acts like a healthy and permanent natural tooth, with far fewer hassles and restrictions.

Dental implants function like natural teeth because they are anchored by a titanium root to the jawbone. This titanium anchor is installed during an oral surgery procedure. After the procedure, the bone fuses with the titanium to provide a strong and durable base upon which a crown may be installed. Once the implant is fused to the bone creating a strong and durable structure, a handcrafted crown designed to match the surrounding teeth is placed on the anchored implant. Once this crown is in place, dental implant patients are able to chew, speak, and smile as if the tooth was never missing.

Dental implants also work well as support for other restorative appliances like partial dentures and bridgework. By anchoring these appliances to an implant, Dr. Lewis provides increased stability and strength to these appliances. A dental implant used in conjunction with other restorative appliances may increase the life, function, and comfort of the appliance.

Keeping Your Implant Healthy

As with all restorative dental methods, the success of a dental implant depends on the oral health of the patient. Once an implant is installed, it is important to ensure that everyday oral hygiene is observed, including brushing and flossing around the base of the artificial tooth or teeth to prevent infection and bacterial buildup. It is essential to have preventive check-ups and professional cleanings every six months, to monitor the impact of the implant as well as your general oral health.

Dentist in Virginia Beach

If you are in the Virginia Beach area and have questions about dental implants, call Virginia Beach Cosmetic Dentistry to set-up a complementary consultation appointment with Dr. Mary Lewis. During the appointment, she will evaluate your jaw structure and listen to your smile makeover goals. If a dental implant is right for you, it will be installed over a series of appointments resulting in a stronger smile that is also more pleasing to the eye. Give us a call today. We are happy to help you achieve your smile goals!