While the month of September is designated ‘Dental Implant Awareness Month’, every month of the year is one when awareness of the status of our health is important. Be it watching our diet, exercising, monitoring our blood pressure, having an annual physical, and getting needed rest and relaxation – all are components to keep us well. And we know that neglecting any piece of the puzzle can put us at risk. Maintaining our oral health is no less an important consideration; it’s part of overall wellness.
Our teeth, our gums and the supporting bone structure, work together as a team. Just as dieting without exercising or visa versa, omits an important tool to help our bodies stay well, so too, one cannot expect that leaving a space where a tooth is lost, will not impact our oral health. When one area is neglected, such as when a tooth or teeth are lost due to an accident or disease, overall oral health can be compromised. Why? The surrounding teeth, the gum tissue and the supporting bone oftentimes responds negatively to this loss.
When there is a void, nature wants to fill it. Spaces, left unrestored, can cause teeth on either side to drift towards the space, pulling away from the gum tissue, resulting in pockets (spaces) where bacteria resides, and is difficult to remove, and can cause both tooth decay and periodontal concerns. And the bone tissue, kept strong by being stimulated while chewing, is now met by a void; the stimulation is lacking. The bone can atrophy, or shrink, potentially impacting the supporting bone of adjacent teeth. Upper teeth can drift downwards when teeth are missing on the lower arch. And so on … the team is no longer playing at full strength.
Technological advances, as in many arenas, provide options. For generations missing teeth were restored with removable dentures, whether they were full or partial dentures, or non-removable dental bridges. However, today, and for over ½ of a century, dental implants have become the standard-of-care in order to replace one or more teeth. This is the closest to nature as we are able to come in order to replace the lost root of a tooth. Once a dental implant is ready for restoration, a dental crown is placed on the tooth, filling the void, the bone is, once again, stimulated when chewing and equally as important, the ability to eat and smile with confidence is restored
Since 1984, with advanced training in both the surgical placement and restoration dental implants, Dr. David G. Hochberg, a past president of the American Academy of Implant Dentistry (AAID), has been assisting referring dentists and his patient family – “Eat, Laugh, Live Again!” – this year’s theme for Dental Implant Awareness Month. Call Colony Square Dental Associates to learn more about this exciting treatment option.