Dental Implants: Are You Missing One or More Teeth?
You are not alone! At some point in our lives, most of us will lose a tooth due to an accident, tooth decay or gum disease. Do you know the consequences of not replacing missing teeth with dental implants? In most cases, patients avoid going to the dentist after losing a tooth because they think replacing it is not worth it. The truth is, a missing tooth can affect more than just your oral health; it can affect your lifestyle, self-confidence and professional outlook. Consider the following:
The way your teeth come together when you bite is affected when you lose a tooth. The adjacent teeth tend to shift into the space of the missing tooth due to routine functions. The absence of a tooth also causes the opposing tooth to over-erupt. All these changes result in a change in how the teeth come together when you open and close your mouth.
Difficulty Speaking and Eating
Bone resorption due to tooth loss begins by affecting the toothless area but eventually spreads to other areas of the jawbone. This can cause difficulties with eating and digestion of food as the process of digestion starts in the oral cavity. With a missing tooth, your digestive system works harder to process what you eat every time. Speech is also affected if the front teeth are missing.
Perhaps the least evident consequence of tooth loss is increased self-consciousness and lack of confidence. More often than not, a missing tooth leads you to smile, talk, and eat less in front of other people, which can have a negative impact on your life. If you’re older and you have a missing tooth, it might not be a big deal for you. But, if you’re young, it does become a matter of concern for your self-esteem and increased self-consciousness.
Loss of Jawbone
The teeth that help you speak and chew are supported by bone. Once you lose a tooth, the bone supporting the tooth is lost because it is no longer receiving stimulus due to the lost tooth. A dental implant tooth replacement is the only option to prevent the jawbone from being lost.
Change in Facial Contour
Losing teeth combined with the weathering of the jaw can lead to “sunken-in cheeks” and subtle changes in the shape of the lips and chin over time. After 15 or 20 years, bone loss progresses at a more rapid rate, leading to lost definition of the jaw, sagging of the lips and cheeks, resulting in premature ageing. To avoid this acceleration in ageing, it’s critical to have some sort of prosthetic tooth procedure as soon as possible.
Options For Replacing Missing Teeth
At Horizon Family Dentistry, we see patients of different ages with missing teeth. Teeth can get worn down, chipped or cracked at any point in time during our lifetime. Tooth loss is sometimes due to physical injury but is more often due to prolonged periodontal or gum disease.
Dental implants are metal anchors that are surgically placed into the jawbone. Small posts are attached to the implant and provide stable anchors for the replacement crown.
Your best option right now to replace one or more missing teeth is a dental implant. Why? Rather than resting on the gum line like removable dentures, or using adjacent teeth as anchors like fixed bridges, dental implants are a long-term replacement for missing teeth. They look, feel and function almost like a natural tooth, mostly because they are fixed in place. Dental implants, if properly maintained, can last a lifetime.
In the case of dental implants, the positive outweigh the negative
No healthy teeth are damaged as part of implant treatment.
There are no gaps left behind. Not only is the gap left by the missing tooth filled, so is the root.
The implant integrates with the jawbone and the implant and crown perfectly mimic the function of a natural tooth.
A dental implant is a one-time, permanent investment
Jawbone loss is prevented because the implant root stimulates bone growth
Dental implants look, and function like your natural teeth. You will be able to eat, speak and smile with confidence.
Fixed Dental Bridges
A dental bridge, as the name implies, fills the gap left by the missing tooth. Approximate longevity for a bridge is 7-15 years, although some can last upwards to 20 years.
There are some drawbacks though to replacing missing teeth with a dental bridge. The healthy teeth adjacent to the missing tooth need to be ground down and crowned. These teeth are weakened in the process, and often fail over time, creating more problems, such as, root canal or further tooth loss. Also, the bridge does not address the problem of bone loss. The bone in the area where the teeth are missing will continue to deteriorate and eventually, cause other problems. Consult with our Peterborough dentists to see if implant-supported dental bridges are right for you.
Fixed Bridge – two crowns are made for the teeth on each side of the gap, and a false tooth is anchored between them.
Most spaces can be filled with a removable denture. The primary advantage of this option is the reduced cost compared to that of bridgework or implants. The procedure is also less invasive and reversible. These appliances typically last about 10 years.
The difficulties that come with dentures tend to be many. Many people who wear partial dentures say they are reluctant to smile or laugh in public because they are afraid their denture may slip, or fall out. They can impact the ability to eat what you like. Partial dentures can increase the build-up of plaque around the supporting teeth, which can lead to tooth decay or gum disease. Pressure or movement of the partial dentures can result in trauma to the surrounding teeth or gums. Just like bridges, dentures do nothing to prevent loss of bone in the jaw. At Horizon Family Dentistry, we offer implant-supported dentures which do not slip and allow you to eat, speak and smile with confidence. Book a private consultation today!
Start With A FREE Dental Implants Consultation
Overall, your best options for replacing missing teeth are dental implants, bridges or dentures -these last two with or without dental implants. However, you must understand all your options before making a decision and you should know the risks and benefits of each procedure and the likely outcome. At Horizon Family Dentistry, we will discuss and explain all of your tooth replacement options. We are happy to explain each procedure until you thoroughly understand the basic nature of it. Call us today and we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.
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It all starts with a phone call at Horizon Family Dentistry. When you call our Peterborough Dental Clinic, our friendly staff will help you select an appointment time that is convenient for you and your family.
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26 Hospital Dr.
Peterborough, ON K9J 7C3
HOURS OF OPERATION
Monday: 8:30am - 5:00pm
Tuesday: 8:30am - 5:00pm
Wednesday: 8:30am - 5:00pm
Thursday: 8:30am - 5:00pm
Friday: 8:30am - 12:30pm