The Importance of Replacing Missing Teeth
According to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, a staggering 70% of people between the ages of 35 and 44 are missing at least one of their original adult teeth. A significant number of these people continue to put off their appointments with the dentist for several reasons. Perhaps you yourself have lost one or more of your pearly whites over the years and simply haven’t gotten around to having it replaced. Alternatively your phobia of the dentist’s chair could be preventing you from seeking the treatment you need. Or perhaps the tooth or teeth you are missing are right at the back of your mouth where they aren’t visible and consequently, you haven’t seen the point of paying for dental implants.
Although the number one reason people seek out dental implants is so that they can feel confident smiling again, the importance of these ingenious dental devices goes far beyond restoring smiles. In addition to the many benefits and advantages dental implants have as a tooth replacement solution, they also help to keep your jaw healthy and strong when it would otherwise atrophy as a result of tooth loss. Ironically, one of the main causes of tooth loss is tooth loss in the first place! Let us explore this further…
Dental Implants: Promoting Jaw Bone Health
When a tooth falls out as a result of decay or accidental trauma, the important role the root played in bone maintenance is lost as well. It is the mechanical forces and pressures associated with eating and chewing that maintain bone volume in healthy jaws. In the absence of this stimulation, the bone (now with less stress put on it) begins to atrophy. Traditional teeth replacement techniques generally only provide marginal cosmetic and functional solutions to missing teeth. So while you may be able to use a removable bridge or dentures to eat and look as close to normal given the circumstances, they do not promote the health of your jaw bone. Over a period of time, the atrophy or shrinking of the jaws becomes more severe, and it is this process that creates the ‘sunken’ and aged appearance we frequently associate with the look of the elderly or denture-wearing patients.
Dental implants help replace the entire missing tooth from the root to the crown, so they provide more than just a cosmetic and functional solution. Since they replace the source of stimulation the roots supplied to the underlying jaw, the bone volume is maintained and the jaws remain healthy! This is one of many important reasons that we here at MALO Dental Implants always recommend that patients have teeth replaced with dental implants.
Reasons to Replace Missing Teeth with Dental Implants:
- Complete restoration of oral aesthetics: Dental implants help to fill the gaps left by missing teeth, which gives you all the confidence of a naturally beautiful smile!
- Complete restoration of oral function: Dental implant restorations function and feel very much like healthy natural teeth, so patients can resume eating all the foods they loved but couldn’t enjoy with missing teeth.
- Improved speech: Our teeth play an essential role in speech and articulation and just one missing tooth can compromise this. Dental implants help successfully restore the balance between the teeth, tongue and lips so that speaking is once again second nature.
- Free-Standing Solution: Dental implants are supported by the jawbone, just like your original teeth. Consequently, they almost never cause damage to the adjacent teeth nor do they typically hurt or irritate the surrounding gum tissue (like a removable denture). This enables dental implant restorations to feel like natural teeth rather than something artificial sitting in your mouth, making you feel uncomfortable and self-conscious.
- Promoting Dental Stability: When a tooth is lost and left untreated, its neighboring teeth can begin to shift because of the gap left behind. This instability often travels from one tooth to the next; ultimately causing the entire dental arch to destabilize in a sort of ‘domino effect’. Dental Implant restorations provide the support the adjacent teeth need in order to remain stable, helping to prevent this from happening entirely.
- Non-Removable Solution: Dental implants biologically fuse with the underlying jaw bone and as a result, they do not shift around. Fixed implant bridges do not require removal for cleaning like removable partial or full dentures do. In fact, dental implant restorations are cleaned just like your natural teeth are; with regular brushing and flossing!
- Long-term Solution: Modern day Dental implants placed by the team at MALO Dental Implants can remain healthy for decades. If looked after properly by the patient with good oral hygiene and regular dental check-ups, they can even last a lifetime! This makes dental implants the perfect long-term solution to single and multiple missing teeth.
A Final Note
Teeth can become displaced due to a number of reasons; decay, chronic illness, genetics, accidental trauma and more. Dental implants enjoy incredibly high success rates and excellent longevity. It is for these reasons, along with the many listed above, that you should have a single or multiple missing teeth immediately replaced with these ingenious dental devices!