It is important that you look after your teeth and gums and visit the dentist on a regular basis to avoid gum disease. Gum disease can be detected early on and treated successfully, but if left untreated it can result in tooth loss.
Gum disease is one of the most common causes of tooth loss across the world. Three in ten Australians suffer from gum disease and many of the adult population have experienced a certain extent of gum disease at least once in their lifetime. This is more common in men than in women and increasingly likely in those who avoid the dentist for long periods of time. Gum disease is caused by poor oral hygiene and a build-up of plaque on the teeth and gum line. Bacteria in the plaque attack the gums and in response the gums become red and swollen and you will notice unpleasant symptoms such as bleeding after brushing and bad breath. It is important that you continue to maintain good dental hygiene even if your gums are bleeding to remove the bacteria, but if your symptoms do not subside then you need to visit the dentist urgently to prevent worsening of the symptoms and further complications. If left untreated bacteria continues to damage the gums and can destroy the jawbone underneath the gums, resulting in no support for the teeth and eventual tooth loss.
Replacing missing teeth
There are different options for replacing your missing teeth including bridges, dentures and dental implants Melbourne. Of these the most popular choice is oral implants. Dental implants have been used for more than 50 years and provide a permanent solution for replacing your missing teeth.
To be eligible for dental implants patients with mild to moderate cases of gum disease simply have to bring the disease under control with good dental hygiene, whilst others may have to undergo certain treatments and procedures to be able to qualify. If you have advanced gum disease then you may need to consider a bridge or a set of dentures for replacing your missing teeth.
Dental implant surgery
If your gum disease is treated successfully then you are ready to replace your teeth with implantation. Dental implants are small titanium screws that fit into your jaw and replace the root of your missing tooth. You will undergo an X-ray to find out what size implant you need. This will tell the dentist the length and width of the screw as well as the position that it needs to be inserted into the jaw. There may be a 3 month waiting period after you lose your tooth or if you undergo an extraction to allow the area to heal after which the implant can be placed into your jaw for it to become embedded into the bone. It will take a few months for the implant to be fixed into place and then it can be fitted with a crown or a set of dentures to replace your missing teeth.
It is important that after undergoing dental implant surgery you continue to maintain a good dental hygiene routine and visit the dentist on a regular basis, so that the implant remains strong and healthy and the gum disease does not return.
Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.