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Maintaining your smile and a healthy bite with dental implants

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Instinctively part of our gestures and body language, our smile is a focus for everyone we meet. The unspoken communication of a warm and approachable expression sends a clear message to people that we are ready to interact with them. A winning smile tends to bring greater professional success – whether in the boardroom, office or marketplace.  For example, as a leadership technique, smiling can be more effective than mere power or responsibility. It is not necessarily what we say, but how we say it! 

If you are concerned about your smile and have been affected by tooth loss, the latest dental implants provide natural looking permanent replacement teeth, brighten the overall appearance and maintain a healthy bite. Dental implants represent an excellent option for patients who have lost teeth due to injury, gum disease or other reasons.

Strong gum tissues and sufficient jawbone height are required for the implanted artificial root to support a single replacement tooth, multiple teeth or even a dental bridge. In the case of gum problems, therefore, dentists often suggest consultations with a periodontist for specialist treatment before fitting the implant(s). 

Most implants are endosteal, i.e. in the bone, and feature a surgically placed cylinder or titanium screw. The upper part of the tooth or crown is usually fitted after the surrounding gum has healed. Another type of treatment, subperiosteal implants, works well for patients who do not have sufficient internal bone height to support an implant properly. In these cases, a metal framework has posts that come through the gum. Additionally, in the case of upper back teeth, the proximity of the sinuses may also mean that some patients may require oral surgery to augment the bone depth.

Good oral and general health help to assure the success of new implants and that they last as long as possible. Naturally, conscientious home care is needed; often, there is fractionally more space between implants and natural teeth than before. Consequently, although food may tend to get lodged in the interdental spaces, most patients find cleaning much simpler thanks to the slight amount of extra room and the new, smooth surface. This is especially so when the previous teeth had uneven surfaces or large fillings. 

Finally, brushing and flossing do of course continue to be part of the twice-daily dental hygiene routine. Your dentist will be able to advise on care plans to clean the implant(s), maintain good oral health and keep your smile at its best.