ENDODONTISTS ARE EXPERTS when it comes to ensuring that patients are able to keep teeth that might otherwise have to be extracted. As we make more advances in technology and our understanding of teeth, the field of endodontics gets even better at saving teeth. But what’s so important about doing that? What makes natural teeth better than implants, particularly when the natural tooth needs so much work to save it?
Oral Tissues Heal Faster Around Natural Teeth
In order for our gums to heal, they need a good blood supply, and sometimes dental implant surgery can compromise that blood supply. This slows down tissue regeneration and results in more scarring. In contrast, the gum tissue around a natural tooth tends to be better at recovering from infections and damage.
The Body Can Reject Dental Implants
Our immune systems are very good at what they do. Sometimes too good. It isn’t common, but a dental implant can be rejected by the body, which mistakenly treats it like a harmful foreign object. That won’t happen to a natural tooth! Implants also lack the periodontal ligament that attaches natural teeth to the jaw and gums, which means the seal between implant and gum is less likely to keep out bacteria.
Implants Come with the Risk of a Special Kind of Gum Disease
Some form of gum disease affects as many as half of all American adults, and those with dental implants are not exempt. When gum disease develops around an implant, it’s called peri-implant mucositis. What makes it different from normal gum disease is that implants don’t have the same physical barrier against bacteria as natural teeth, so the inflammation can spread more easily.
Like gum disease, peri-implant mucositis can be treated and reversed. At this stage, it only affects the gum tissue. However, if it isn’t treated, it can become peri-implantitis, which compromises the underlying bone, threatening the entire implant. Surgical treatment is typically required at this stage.
How Implants Impact Bone
One of the reasons implants are the best option to replace a missing tooth is that they provide better support for the jaw bone, preventing it from deteriorating. However, there’s no cushioning barrier between the metal implant post and the bone, so the risk of bone loss is still higher than with a natural tooth and the surrounding periodontal ligament.
Follow this advice to keep your teeth healthy!
We’re Rooting for Your Teeth!
Not every injured or infected tooth can be saved with root canal therapy, but many of them can, and it’s well worth the effort. Natural anatomy, even when it’s been damaged, has serious advantages over an implant or other type of false tooth. If you have questions about the benefits of root canal therapy, just let us know! We’re happy to give you the information you need.