Lost teeth due to cavities? Do you find it difficult to chew your food with missing teeth? or are you simply just used to it? Seeing those missing spaces between your teeth might not bother you but they eventually will cost you. Its never too late to fill in those gaps unless the gaps are closed by the tilting of the teeth next to the missing tooth space.
The most permanent and effective way to replace a missing tooth is by getting an implant fixed. Replacing your missing tooth with implants is a fixed option and will give you the strength you need to chew your food, as well as the beauty that natural teeth add to your smile.
What’s coming if you don’t replace your missing tooth?
- Pressure on the other teeth
- Pressure on gums and bone
- Bone density and height reduction in the area of the missing tooth
- Missing teeth cause the teeth besides the space to lean into the space
- Alter your chewing and biting pattern
- Spacing between your front teeth
- Habitual chewing from one side
- Change your facial appearance and you may look older than your age
- Teeth that support your lips- missing front teeth can cause your lips to shrink inwards and appear more thin
- Teeth that support your cheeks – can shrink inwards giving a wrinkled appearance to your face
- Loss of speech function, leading to problems in communication.
- You may start lisping if you have more than 3-4 missing front teeth
So what do I do if I have a missing tooth?
A dental visit is highly recommended. Or you can simply video consult your dentist. Your dentist will check the root cause, and suggest various treatment options for replacing your missing teeth. The various ways in which a missing tooth can be replaced are fixing a dental bridge, fabricating a removable partial denture and the latest treatment modality available is dental implants.
If given an option, and you are made to choose if you want to go for a bridge or an implant, one must definitely choose to go for an implant. There are many reasons as to which implants are a better option than bridges.
Behind the scenes of placing an implant
Prior to placing implants a pre-operative analysis of the area is necessary along with the records of any underlying medical conditions. The dentist studies the case thoroughly about the area, infections if any, bone height and density, condition of the bone and gums via X-rays and CBCT scans. The dentist will then study which type of implant to use and the exact procedure of placement. There is nothing to worry as the entire procedure takes about 30-45 minutes.
How can dental implants help me fix my missing tooth?
Dental Implants are the most natural way in which a missing tooth can be replaced! The root portion of the tooth is replaced by a new root form called an Implant. This implant is made up of titanium metal, it is inserted into the bone below the gum line and gets integrated inside the bone. The implant gets fused to the bone after a healing period of 3 to 6 months, after that, a new cap/crown is fitted onto the implant. Bingo! Your new tooth is ready to serve you! It exactly looks like your natural teeth, serves the chewing function and saves you from the embarrassment of showing a blank space while smiling!
Dental Implants require great home care and maintenance for long-term success. An implant in the knee joint or hip is not open to infection as it’s placed inside the body. But a dental implant in the mouth is subjected to the constant presence of food debris and plaque, ideal for the growth of bacteria. Hence maintaining good oral hygiene is a must to ensure a successful treatment.
Everything comes with its share of merits and demerits. A dental implant is no exception in this regard. A point noteworthy to mention here is, while there a couple of limitations of implants, the advantages of replacing a missing tooth with implants far outweigh the disadvantages.
The merits of placing a dental implant are-
It functions and resembles to the natural tooth as much as possible, the chewing efficacy is much superior, because the implant has a unique ability to fuse with bone, the soft tissues and gums around the implant crown heal in a natural manner, and hence the esthetics is as close to a natural tooth.
Can everyone with a missing tooth get an implant?
Implants cannot be placed in places where the bone density and height are less. Hence dentists always recommend getting a replacement for your missing tooth immediately rather than delaying the process as the more you wait, the more bone loss eventually. Moreover, dentists do not prefer to place implants in medically compromised patients suffering from uncontrolled diabetes, patients with mental disorders, people suffering from heart ailments and cardiac insufficiency, and patients with severe renal and liver dysfunctions. Chronic smokers and severe alcoholics are also not good candidates for dental implants.
Why are implants so hyped?
Dental implants are the most viable options for better esthetics, speech, and function. Broadly speaking, implants look, feel and function in a similar manner as natural teeth, however, the important difference is in the way they attach to the surrounding tissues, respond to dental disease, and their upkeep. So, in the end, all is well with implants. The success and life span and the response to the treatment are also better with implants.
- Implants are a better option to replace your missing tooth when compared to bridges.
- Not all can get an implant done. Your dentist can decide better. However, given an option implant is always better and gives better results.
- Before placing an implant several investigations and scans are done for the success of the treatment.
- Implants are better in aesthetics and give a more natural look as compared to bridges and dentures.
- Implants require less care and maintenance.