Tooth loss is a worldwide problem, and dental implants are becoming a common choice to replace missing teeth. You might need an implant due to irreversible tooth decay, severe periodontal disease or an accident. Some issues, such as a failed root canal procedure, also create a need for implants.
The loss of single or multiple teeth could cause lasting or significant damage if not treated quickly. If neglected, the gaps between teeth will not only look unattractive, but they can also cause further complications.
Tooth loss can be avoided with proper care, but accidents happen. There are many options when it comes to replacing missing teeth. Let us compare these methods with getting dental implants.
Are other options better than implants?
For several years, the main option for tooth replacement was the fixed bridge. The procedure entailed scraping the teeth on either side of the gap and cementing a dental bridge. This is a prosthetic dental crown that fills space of a lost tooth. The bridge is an aesthetic solution, and the support offered by the adjacent teeth prevents the new false tooth from moving.
However, the teeth that support the bridge bear the brunt of the force from chewing. This force stimulates the jawbone and prevents degradation. Since the area of the missing tooth is not being stimulated, the bone may start to shrink. This can eventually cause bone and gum defects that change your facial structure. The area will ultimately trap food debris that can damage the adjacent teeth. In this case, the dentist will need to make a longer bridge to replace these teeth as well.
For patients with multiple missing teeth or those unable to afford to replace their teeth with a stable or fixed bridgework, the dentist may create partial or full dentures. Because there is no physical stimulation reaching the jawbone beneath the lost teeth, bone shrinkage can happen. You will need to see the dentist every so often to refit or replace the dentures.
The most significant drawback for many patients is that removable or partial dentures are usually unstable and tend to slip, shift and cause gum sores. They could also make speaking or eating difficult. You might have what looks like a good smile, but the thought of your dentures slipping causes you to avoid speaking.
The dental implant solution
These days, replacing a lost tooth or teeth with dental implant supported bridges or crowns is a great option. The dental implant functions as an artificial tooth root when inserted into the jawbone and can support one or more teeth. Other restorations can now attach to these implants, receiving a firm hold.
The crown or bridges connect to the dental implant through clips, screws or cement. Since the implant bears the force of chewing, it stimulates the underlying jawbone, thus preventing bone resorption.
See if you qualify for dental implants
Dental implants are one of the best options available if you are missing a tooth. They not only look great, but they help strengthen your mouth. Call our office to see if dental implants can improve your smile.