Four Things to know – Dr. Joel Fast Since reading my last blog, people have been calling to ask for more information about the many benefits of dental implants. This month’s blog will answer some of those questions. First, many people ask why it’s so important to replace missing teeth. Teeth have many functions – chewing starts the digestion process so it’s easier for our bodies to digest the food we eat, but it doesn’t end there. They also help us speak properly and contribute to the overall look of your face. Teeth also have a very important role in keeping our remaining teeth in the right place and jawbones healthy and strong … the tiny movements of tooth roots stimulate our jawbones. Without these movements, we start to lose bone height and width, and over time will contribute to a sunken facial appearance. Understanding this, people next want to know how dental implants effectively solve these problems. Because dental implants are permanently anchored, your jawbone is stimulated by artificial tooth roots that act just as your natural roots did. Permanently cemented to the implant is a custom-made crown restoration that we design to fit the space perfectly – just like we would if we put a crown on an existing root. This new tooth looks and feels just like a natural tooth and withstands the biting pressure you place on when eating, fills the gap beautifully, and lets you speak as clearly as always. For some people who have had missing teeth for a long time, bone loss has already occurred. Many people think that it’s too late to get an implant if they have already lost jawbone but with 3D digital bone scanning, we can see this right away and take the steps to replace the bone, so your jaw is dental-implant ready. For example, a sinus lift is used when either your sinuses are too close to your jaw or if you’ve lost upper jawbone height, and a bone graft replaces helps your jawbone become strong enough to support your dental implant. Lastly, my denture patients wonder if dental implants can help with loose dentures. While some people may decide to replace all their missing teeth with dental implants, we can also use a smaller number of dental implants to secure your dentures. Imagine never having to use denture glue ever again or worry about your dentures slipping out of place when you are laughing. Like all of your dental procedures at Total Health Dental, dental implants are an individual solution and aspects of your care are dependent on your personal situation. If you want to know more about dental implants in Tigard, just give us a call for a free consultation.