When it comes to your oral health, there’s just no substitute for your own natural teeth. How else can you explain the fact that your teeth are engineered to perform their duties your entire lifetime? It’s true, says Dr. Jim Erpenbach, who offers dental implants in Knoxville, TN, as well as other alternatives to removable dental…
When it comes to your oral health, there’s just no substitute for your own natural teeth. How else can you explain the fact that your teeth are engineered to perform their duties your entire lifetime? It’s true, says Dr. Jim Erpenbach, who offers dental implants in Knoxville, TN, as well as other alternatives to removable dental prosthetics. Unfortunately, not everyone will keep their teeth.
Adult Tooth Loss in the US
Despite advances in dental technology and improved access to oral care products, adult tooth loss remains a problem in the United States. We attribute this to a number of factors, says Dr. Erpenbach. For one thing, many people believe that aging is the leading cause of tooth loss, that no amount of brushing and flossing can ensure the longevity of your teeth. Wrong! More than anything else, periodontal disease is the primary cause of tooth loss among adult men and women. What’s more devastating is the fact that the vast majority of gum disease cases are easily preventable.
Not Quite Your Tooth…But Close
Of all the available dental prosthetics, dental implants are by far the closest to a tooth. Whereas other options rely on your gum ridge or adjacent teeth to anchor an artificial tooth or teeth in place, implants are surgically fused to the underlying jawbone. The small metal post functions just like the root of your tooth, which gives it a stability not found in its alternatives. Implants are also unique because they stimulate the jawbone, facilitating a healthy blood supply and distribution of nutrients to the area. In the absence of a tooth root, the jawbone would gradually lose minerals and density, which could cause even more teeth to fall out.
Requirements for Dental Implants
The ideal candidate for a dental implant has sufficient density in his or her jaw. If for some reason the bone has already started to disintegrate, the implant cannot maintain its stability. This is common in patients who have lost their teeth as a result of periodontal disease. Fortunately, your dentist may be able to refer you to a specialist for bone grafting. Afterward, you can return to our office to begin the implant procedure.
About Your Knoxville Dentist
Are you considering dental implant restorations to replace lost teeth? To learn more about the implant procedure and dental prosthetics, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Jim Erpenbach, contact us at 865-584-8630. We welcome patients living in and around Knoxville and its neighboring communities.