When you lose a natural tooth, is it necessary to replace it? Some people think that leaving the space open from missing teeth isn’t that big of a deal, especially considering the cost of tooth-replacement options. But, while leaving it open can save you money upfront, it may cost you more in the long run in terms of your dental and oral health — and the dental interventions required to fix any problems that arise as a result of tooth loss.
What Are Dental Implants?
A dental implant is a surgical tooth replacement that interfaces with the bone of the jaw or skull through a process known as osseointegration. Dental implants consist of a metal post that acts as a tooth root, as well as an abutment and a tooth-like crown.
What Causes Tooth Loss? | Dental Implants – How to Replace a Missing Teeth With an Implant
Tooth loss happens for many reasons: decay, gum disease or injury, periodontal disease, trauma, tumors, cysts, infection, congenital defects, medications, age-related conditions such as osteoporosis, and other causes. The most common cause of tooth loss is tooth decay, which affects nearly 90 percent of adults at some point during their lives.
Other factors that contribute to tooth loss include genetics, diet, smoking, alcohol consumption, poor oral hygiene practices, stress, hormonal changes, systemic diseases, certain medical treatments, and even aging.
What Happens if You Don’t Replace a Tooth?
So what can really happen if you leave the space empty where your tooth was? A few things, including:
Oral health issues. Unfortunately, after losing a tooth, the chances of periodontal disease and bacterial infections goes up, causing an increased potential for tooth loss and more gum deterioration. Furthermore, the sides and roots of adjacent teeth are more exposed because of the missing tooth, which means they’re at risk of bacterial attacks.
Atrophy. The bone around the area could begin to deteriorate, causing the jawbone to shrink and eventually collapse. Dental implants help to promote bone growth and keep your jawbone healthy.
Misalignment of other teeth. If you leave the gap where your tooth was, you could be at risk of the teeth on either side drifting into that space. This can negatively affect your bite and how you eat or speak.
When you’ve lost a tooth, and you’re considering replacement tooth options, do you know what choices are available to you and the pros and cons of each? Learn more about artificial teeth and their benefits or consequences here.
Dentures: A removable prosthesis that replaces one or more missing teeth with artificial dentures attached directly onto your gums. Dentures can be made from acrylic resin or metal. They may also include attachments for holding them in place to your jaw. Dentures can cause pain and problems if they don’t fit well, leaving wearers at risk for sores in the mouth. If dentures don’t fit well, they can also make eating and speaking difficult, which can lead to feelings of self-consciousness, malnutrition and even dementia.
Fixed Bridges: These bridges attach to two adjacent natural teeth and hold false teeth in position. Fixed bridges provide support for both chewing and biting. Fixed bridges require the shaving down of the enamel on the teeth on either side of the gap for placement.
Dental Implants: When used properly, these titanium fixtures act like mini root canals, providing stability and strength to the surrounding tissues. Unlike fixed bridges, dental implants do not require the preparation of adjacent teeth, so you do not have enamel removal. Because there’s nothing to prepare, the implant procedure itself usually take less time than traditional methods. In addition, unlike conventional crowns and dentures, implants offer better aesthetics and function by allowing patients to chew normally without feeling discomfort. Dental implants are considered permanent solutions, but it takes several months before they become fully integrated into the body. Once this occurs, however, they will last indefinitely.
The Benefits and Advantages of Dental Implants
Dental implants have many benefits, including:
They’re long-lasting. Dental implants are made of durable ceramic and offer you a permanent solution to replace missing teeth. You won’t need to worry about replacing your implants again for many years, if at all.
Better appearance. With dental implants, you get a beautiful smile that looks just like your natural teeth. Dental implants look more natural than removable dentures.
Improved oral hygiene. Since dental implants are permanently anchored into the jawbone, you just have to care for them like your natural teeth – brush at least twice a day, floss at least once per day, and visit us at least twice a year.
Increased confidence. As dental implants are a fixed tooth-replacement solution, you can rest assured that your smile will look great, and you can eat and speak with confidence. Your implants will look more like real teeth than dentures or bridges do, giving you greater self-esteem.
Are you considering replacing a missing tooth or multiple missing teeth? Let’s talk about your personalized treatment plan. We offer both single teeth and multiple teeth types of dental implants. Schedule your consultation with Miami Designer Smiles today.