As your dentist, I will do everything that I can to help you preserve your natural teeth. Unfortunately, that is not always possible for every patient. If you have lost one or more of your natural teeth, it is important that you address this with the appropriate treatment. Although simply doing nothing is always an option, it does come with a price.
The Cost of Doing Nothing
There are several reasons why it is important to address missing teeth. For one, your jawbone needs the presence of a tooth root, artificial or not, to maintain bone. By going for a while without addressing a missing tooth, your jawbone overtime will slowly shrink and atrophy. This can make it more difficult to place an implant down the road. Another reason for addressing one or more missing teeth is the fact that the teeth adjacent or opposite to the gap in your smile can eventually begin shifting into this empty space.
What are dental implants?
Although there is no way to completely replace a natural tooth, dental implants are the next best thing. They help to prevent bone loss, undesirable changes to the facial structure, and teeth from shifting into the empty space left by the missing teeth.
A dental implant is a three-component structure consisting of three parts: a titanium metal screw that is placed directly within the jawbone, an abutment and a crown. Taken together, the entire structure serves as an artificial tooth that looks, feels, and functions almost exactly like a natural tooth.
Do I need a dental implant?
A dental implant may be right for you if you are looking for a tooth replacement option that is:
- Comfortable and functional
- Requires no special maintenance and lasts a long time.
- Preserves bone density
- Boosts your oral health and self-confidence
Comfort and Functionality
Implants were developed as a permanent solution for those with missing teeth. Dentures, on the other hand, were designed to be placed over the gums. They are removable and replaceable. However, in spite of the best efforts of both dentist and patient, irritation of tissues and difficulty chewing are common complaints among denture wearers.
If you receive a dental implant, your new implant will be firmly embedded within your jawbone; it will be completely stable and cannot shift or move. This allows you to enjoy chewing your food, biting, and speaking clearly knowing you have permanent long term solution that won’t move around.
No Special Maintenance
After receiving your new dental implant, you would simply maintain your proper oral health routine at home, as well as staying current with your dental exam and cleaning appointments.
Oral Health and Self Confidence
There is a strong link between self-esteem and practicing proper oral hygiene. If you are healthy and confident in your appearance, it is more probable that you will take self-care more seriously.
Dental implants simply look and function like natural teeth. If you are embarrassed about your teeth and smile because of missing teeth, you should definitely consider getting an implant to improve your oral health and self-confidence.
Thanks for your support!
– Dr. Houlik