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Tooth lost to either decay or gum disease leaves a dent in many areas - facial appearance, chewing, facial structure support, etc. Fixed dentures were a good substitute, however, with one major disadvantage. They required removal of natural tooth structure from adjacent healthy teeth. The next big search was to find ways to avoid this, and the result is the dental implant.
The tooth has a visible part called the crown and an invisible part called the root which is hidden in the jaw bone. While the fixed denture replaces only the crown, the implant replaces both the crown and the root.
How implants are done: Once a tooth is lost and the bone is healed to the desired extent, a biocompatible titanium post that is screwed into the bone. This material has the unique property of osseointegration - it fuses to the bone, which is almost like a natural tooth in its socket. This complete fusion may take about 2 to 6 months depending on overall health. After it gets absorbed well into the bone, a crown that matches the adjacent teeth is fixed on it. Implants can also be used for replacing multiple teeth or for overdentures.
There are certain reasons why implants work so well, listed below are some:
- The material: Titanium is biocompatible and does not cause any adverse reaction in the body. It fuses to the bone completely and is not just put in place to fill the gap. That ensures that the support provided for the new crown or bridge is as good as the original tooth with a root embedded in the jaw bone
- Post-implant care: Required, but not to the extent required by dentures. There is very minimal difference between caring for an implant and caring for an implant
- Function: As the implant is completely fused and embedded in the bone, it functions as good as a natural tooth in terms of chewing efficiency and pressure that can be applied on it. This is not the case with dentures
- Gum health: Bridges have an adverse effect on the gums with a constant mild pressure exerted on them. Implants do not do that and therefore are more friendly on the gums
- Bone health: While bridges affect the alveolar bone health by allowing them to continue to degenerate, implants occupy the space in the bone and do not allow further degeneration. This is probably the most important advantage of implants.
- Aesthetics: Needless to say, the look of a well-done implant far surpasses that of the dentures.
Check with your dentist if you are an ideal candidate for implant, and if yes, it surely is worth the investment.
Often regarded as less painful and much milder than more serious diseases like periodontal disease, Gingivitis involves the inflammation, redness, irritation and swelling of your gums. People who suffer from Gingivitis are normally unaware of it because of its mild nature, but it might turn out to be serious in some cases and can lead to periodontitis and tooth loss.
Signs and symptoms
Since Gingivitis is seldom harmful, people who suffer from it are, in most cases, hardly aware of having it. Nevertheless, here are a few signs and symptoms which may indicate that you have Gingivitis:
1. Tender, puffy gums
2. Gums easily bleed whenever you brush or floss your teeth
3. Swollen gums
4. Change in color from a healthy pink to a dusky red
5. Receding gums
6. Bad breath
Gingivitis is most commonly caused by bad oral hygiene and maintenance. Bad oral hygiene usually supports the formation of plaque and tartar. Because plaque forms and re-forms quickly, it requires daily removal. If you don't give your teeth the attention it needs, plaque can further result in the formation of tartar, which is a heavier and denser substance than plaque and acts as a protective barrier for bacteria. It is even more difficult to remove it and you may require dental cleaning.
The main aim of treatment is to reverse the symptoms of Gingivitis and to prevent further development of the disease into more serious dental issues and diseases.
Professional treatment of Gingivitis includes:
1. Initial evaluation and assessment
2. Thorough cleaning with the help of professional dental tools and instruments
3. Instructions on effective flossing and brushing techniques at home
4. Regular cleaning and professional checkups
5. Fixing of crowns and other dental restorations to help prevent the growth of plaque and tartar
If you wish to discuss about any specific dental problem, you can consult a specilized dentist and ask a free question.