Patients have lost their teeth in a variety of ways: getting hit in the mouth while playing sports, biting a hard food item the wrong way, or by losing the tooth to disease. Unfortunately, that last way is also one of the most common. Tooth decay, also known as cavities or caries, is an oral disease that can weaken the tooth and the tissues around the tooth, causing it to fall out. If this should be the case for you, is there hope of restoring your smile? Well, with dental implants, there is.
The common misconception is that tooth decay occurs as a direct result of eating too much sugar, but the reality is that sugar is only half of the problem. The other half lies with the bacteria that reside in your mouth and feed on the sugars.
When you eat your meals, any sugars or carbohydrates that you eat are usually washed away by your saliva. However, food particles can get stuck between your teeth, which is why we brush our teeth. When you neglect to brush your teeth, bacteria start to consume these leftover food particles, and dispense waste in the form of plaque. Plaque builds up into tartar and starts to eat away at the enamel of your teeth. With each passing layer of the tooth, the decay can bring pain, sensitivity, and deterioration of the tissues that hold the tooth in place. As a result, the teeth have a high chance of falling out.
While tooth loss is definitely a possible consequence of tooth decay, there are other consequences of cavities that could occur:
So what do dental implants have to do with tooth decay?
For starters, implants have this remarkable ability to undergo osseointegration, a fusion process that secures the dental implant in the jawbone. The titanium material of the implant triggers the bone to regenerate and wrap new bone fibers around the fixture. If your jawbone has been damaged by tooth decay, this is a quick way to restore that bone.
Secondly, implants are non-organic. They’re made from a titanium metal, topped with a porcelain crown. Due to this, implants are unaffected by the bacteria that cause tooth decay. This could potentially keep neighboring teeth clean from the spreading infection.
The third reason to consider an implant is purely a superficial one: dental implants can restore the appearance of your smile as well. Tooth decay can wreak havoc on your smile, turning your teeth brown or leaving dark, black cracks and pits in its wake. But a clean, natural-looking dental implant makes your smile look youthful again.
Jose David Sanchez
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