If you have missing teeth, it’s important to have them replaced to prevent long-term problems. Unfortunately, some of the existing methods of tooth replacement require alteration of your remaining natural teeth. With dental implants, you can get a brand new tooth or set of teeth without any restructuring of your other teeth.
Dental Implants and How They Work
Dental implants are the only form of tooth replacement that replaces the entire tooth. While dentures and crown-and-bridge treatments replace the visible part of the tooth so you can bite and chew, implants also provide an artificial root. This is important because it helps hold the new tooth or teeth completely immobile. By contrast, dentures can shift as you eat or even become dislodged. The root also helps stimulate growth in the jawbone. Other options have no root, leaving the bone to resorb since there is no longer anything in the socket.
Implants are set directly into the jawbone by an oral surgeon. By contrast, dentures rest on the gums, and bridges are anchored to adjacent teeth. When you have a tooth replaced with a crown and bridge, or a bridge with wires, the adjacent teeth must be altered. If the new tooth is anchored with dental crowns, this alteration is fairly invasive. Implants allow you to avoid any changes to your natural teeth.
Long-Term Dental Health with Implants
In addition to protecting your natural teeth from alteration, implants also help your teeth remain healthy by filling in the spaces left behind by your missing teeth. If you lose even a single tooth and don’t have it replaced, other teeth will shift position to fill that empty space. This can lead to misalignment, which in turn leads to increased wear and tear.
Malocclusion resulting from missing teeth can also eventually cause the jaw joint to shift out of position—a condition called temporomandibular joint disorder. Over time, your teeth could even suffer enough wear due to misalignment, grinding, and clenching that you might lose more of them. In the long run, replacing your teeth is the better option, and replacing them with implants is the best option of all.
Contact the office of Dr. Jackson to discuss your own dental implant treatment options!