Common treatments to replace missing teeth include partials, dental bridges or full dentures (in the case of edentulous patients). Dental implants offer more advanced technology and a more structurally complete tooth replacement, and this treatment option is becoming increasingly popular.
When you do seek appliances to replace your missing teeth, the characteristics of the chosen treatment method will influence its longevity. Patients should discuss their options, including the advantages and disadvantages of each treatment, thoroughly with a dentist before coming to a final decision.
An important distinction between dental implants and the alternative tooth replacement methods is the replacement of the absent tooth structure. In fact, dental implants are essentially artificial tooth roots made of titanium that are able to fuse with the bone over time.
If you choose not to replace the missing teeth at all, your oral health will suffer, as will your smile’s aesthetics. Not only is a gap in the smile quite noticeable and distracting, it also provides an opportunity for the other teeth to shift out of their proper positions to fill in that space. If that happens, the teeth may no longer fit together properly and the chewing mechanism can become less efficient.
Another concern related to tooth loss is jawbone resorption. The tooth’s root plays an important role in the smile’s well-being even though it is obscured by gum and bone tissue. The root helps to hold the jaw in place. When it is missing, the jawbone wears away.
Even opting for a bridge or dentures can lead to negative outcomes years down the road. Because those appliances do not have structures that replicate the absent root, the jawbone will continue to erode and the appliances will ultimately fail. Dental implants, in comparison, continue to anchor the jaw, providing stability.
Dental implants can help prevent many of the unpleasant aftermath of tooth loss. If you need to replace an absent tooth or teeth, discuss dental implants with your dentist at Ora Dental Studio to see if this option is right for you.