A lost tooth means more than a gaping hole in your smile. It also can lead to jawbone malnourishment, teeth shifting, and ultimately, more tooth loss. Many people find traditional dentures to be an inadequate , uncomfortable solution. For those patients, dental implants might be the best option for not only restoring the smile, but for keeping the entire mouth healthy. Your Mansfield dentists, Dr. Jones and Dr. Harris, discuss the dental implant procedure and who might be the ideal candidates.

Why Dental Implants Can Save Your Smile

The removal of a tooth leaves behind an empty socket. For nutrients from the body to be distributed evenly throughout the jawbone, every socket must be filled. No nutrients are allocated for areas with empty sockets, and without nutrition, the jawbone in those locations will wither. A shrinking jawbone will cause changes to the shape of the face.  More worrisome is that the remaining teeth will begin to shift out of place. Eventually, other teeth will become loose and might even fall out. Dental implants are titanium rods inserted into the sockets to replace missing teeth roots. In most cases, the body will treat the rods the same way it does natural teeth, so the jawbone in that area will continue to receive nutrients.

The Dental Implant Procedure

Implants are placed in a two-part procedure. During the first phase, the rods are carefully inserted into the sockets by a skilled oral surgeon. The rods will need three to six months for bone to fuse with them. After that, your Mansfield dentists will place a permanent crown on each of the rods. Before the procedure begins, a bone graft might be recommended to ensure enough bone tissue will be available.

Mini-Implants: Another Possibility

The jawbone must have significant bone tissue to withstand the implant, so not everyone is a good candidate. For those patients , mini-implants might be an effective alternative. Mini-implant rods are just as long as regular dental implant rods, but are thinner. Because of their thinness, mini-implants can be placed without the need for a bone graft. Mini-implants are also ideal for those who want an attachment for dentures. Unlike conventional dentures, which can irritate the gums and do nothing to prevent jawbone loss, dentures attached to implants will be strong and stable.

Ask Your Mansfield Dentists if Implants are Right for You

If you are dissatisfied with gaps in your smile, or you want a more permanent solution than dentures, schedule a consultation with Dr. Jones or Dr. Harris. You can reach our Mansfield dentist office at (817) 259-1357. We happily provide restorative dentistry to patients from Mansfield, South Arlington, Kennedale, Southeast Ft. Worth, Alvarado, Midlothian, the 76063 zip code, and surrounding neighborhoods.