People often commit to dental implants to replace a missing tooth. We can’t discount the cosmetic benefits of having a complete row of teeth again. It’s so good to have a dazzling smile again! However, dental implants restore the functionality of teeth: dental implants not only save your smile, but the rest of your teeth.
Did you know your teeth support each other
Your teeth function best in a team approach. They rely on each other for support. For example, when a mouth loses a tooth (due to an impact injury, an infection or a break), the rest of the mouth joins in. As a result, teeth begin to move around, leading to crooked and misaligned teeth. Not only can these misaligned teeth lead to bite problems and TMJ (temporomandibular joint) pain, they can make it harder to brush your teeth properly. Improper teeth brushing can often lead to gum disease and tooth decay.
What’s a common result of gum disease and tooth decay? Yes, you’ve guessed it – further loss of teeth.
What will happen if you have a missing tooth?
When you have a gap in your teeth, your teeth structure becomes weakened. Weakened teeth can even result in further tooth loss! Having dental implants affixed means your remaining teeth have the support to remain straight. Straight teeth are functional teeth, and good-looking teeth!
How an implant can support your teeth and jaw?
People can underestimate how a full set of teeth supports the health of the jaw. When you have a missing tooth, your jawbone is more susceptible to bone resorption, or bone loss. Without the tooth’s roots connected to the jaw, bone tissue breaks down, with the bone’s calcium being transferred to the blood supply.
Without the calcium, there’s no longer anything to stimulate bone growth. When the jawbone fails to grow or maintain its existing shape, it will often shrink. A shrunken jawbone will significantly change the contours and shape of your face.
How and why you should get dental implants?
A dental implant is a titanium post that your dentist inserts into your jawbone. It has a special cap on the top, to which your dentist affixes a crown once the titanium post has fused with your jawbone. (The technical name for this is osseointegration).
Your dentist makes the crown out of a ceramic material, carefully matching the colour of your existing teeth. Your dentist also ensures the crown’s functionality to restore your full chewing and biting actions. Because they are artificial, crowns are not prone to dental decay. Crowns can also replace a series of teeth.
When implants first came onto the dental scene, patients needed to wait 4-6 for full osseointegration before the crown could be affixed. However, with dental technology improving all the time, patients needing modern dental implants can expect to have the crown attached in a much shorter timeframe. In some situations, crown attachment can occur almost immediately.
Will dental implants change the way I eat?
If you’ve needed implants for a while, you’ll have noticed you won’t have been eating tender meats or crunchy vegetables for a while. So prepare to have full chewing and biting functionality again with your implants! No steak will be a problem for you; you will be able to hear the crunch of every carrot or celery stick you munch upon.
You’ll have no more indigestion as you will be able to chew and digest your food thoroughly. You’ll also save your remaining teeth, which you have probably been using more to compensate for your missing tooth or teeth.
Cleaning your teeth after a meal becomes easier again, as food won’t get caught. You’ll also be able to reduce the likelihood of gum disease and tooth decay.
Can I still get implants if I have multiple missing teeth?
With multiple teeth missing, or even a whole set (top or bottom) missing, your dentist may still confirm your suitability for implants. Because the implants fuse to the jawbone, they act as a foundation for the attachment of not only a crown (a single tooth), but a bridge (a series of two or more artificial teeth).