Implant dentistry has changed the way we look at prosthetic teeth, making it possible to have a natural-looking smile with teeth that are anchored to the jawbone. Replacing your missing teeth represents an investment in your long-term dental and overall health.
Why is it Important to Replace Missing Teeth?
If you have extra space in your mouth, your teeth will automatically move to try to fill that space. So if you lose a tooth, other teeth will shift into the blank spot left behind. When your teeth move, their relationship to each other changes. Teeth that meshed together perfectly between the top and bottom jaws might now sit at different angles. This puts your bite out of alignment and can result in numerous long-term issues including:
- Wear and tear
- Damage to the enamel
- Clenching and grinding
- Misalignment of the jawbone
- Premature tooth loss
- Temporomandibular joint disorder
If you replace the lost tooth or teeth, however, you can keep your teeth properly positioned and avoid most of these uncomfortable side effects.
Another side effect of missing teeth is atrophy in the jawbone. The bone tissue is reabsorbed into the bloodstream, reducing the strength and thickness of the bone. This can change the overall shape of your face, bringing your upper and lower jaws closer together. Because dental implants include an artificial root, they can prevent this atrophy from occurring.
Are Dental Implants Right for Me?
If you have any missing teeth, dental implants are an excellent option for tooth replacement. Talk to your dentist about implant dentistry to see if you’re a good candidate. Implants might not be the best option if:
- You are a diabetic
- You are a smoker
- You are taking certain medications for osteoporosis
- You have already experienced severe jawbone atrophy
- You have gum disease
Your dentist might recommend preliminary treatment before the implants are placed. This could include treatment for gum disease or bone grafts to support your new implants.
Contact the office of Dr. Theodore Sewitch today!