Patient with dentist and dental assistant

Dental implants: a long-lasting solution for tooth loss

What causes tooth loss?

Tooth loss is a very inconvenient, yet relatively common occurrence. It affects people of any age; however, it is more prevalent in older people. Tooth loss can have serious consequences on one’s day-to-day life: it can make eating and chewing harder and more painful than it should be, it can impair speech, it can cause problems with self-confidence, and one study even reported an increased incidence of ischaemic stroke amongst patients whose primary cause of tooth loss was periodontal disease.

Common sense and the latter suggest that tooth loss is something that must be taken seriously. It is important to know that a significant proportion of tooth loss cases can be prevented, as they are often caused by factors that can be mitigated. One of the most important causes of tooth loss is tooth decay and periodontal disease. These are caused by naturally occurring bacteria reproducing in higher numbers than they should and forming a biofilm on teeth known as dental plaque. This can be prevented by maintaining proper oral hygiene through brushing teeth at least twice a day, and in addition using antibacterial mouthwashes and tooth floss.

Another major cause, injuries can also be prevented in some cases. Dental injuries are often caused by contact sports such as rugby, handball, football or martial arts. When engaging in such sports it is important to wear a mouth guard. If tooth loss has already happened to you a dentist can help you get dental implants in Herefordshire.

What are dental implants and how do they work?

Missing teeth can be resolved through various types of treatments, such as dentures, crowns and bridges. However dental implants are often regarded as a better alternative to these due to their increased durability and their capability of providing a more permanent solution. These implants are grafted into the jawbone. Due to the nature of titanium, the metal they are made out of they form a connection with the jawbone, as our body reacts to titanium as if it was natural tissue.

This connection underlies the capability of implants to last longer than other treatment options for tooth loss. They are capable of replacing a single tooth, but one implant can also hold multiple replacement teeth. Through the implantation of four to six implants an entire set of replacement teeth can be held.

Are there any risks of getting implants?

woman at dental clinic

As with any surgical operation, the implantation involves some risks. In some cases, an infection may occur at the site of implantation. Surrounding teeth, tissues and blood vessels may get damaged in a small number of cases. Nerve damage can also occur, which could induce pain or a tingling sensation in the surrounding areas. If your specific case requires implants to be inserted into the upper jaw, and they protrude into one of the sinus cavities, this may result in sinus problems in the long run. Most of these risks however can be mitigated. During your consultation it is very important to be honest with your dentist about your medical history. It is also important to mention if you have any allergies to medications.

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