Your teeth were designed to last a lifetime, but sometimes they don’t! Replacing missing teeth is important to your general health and to the health of your other teeth. Not only do you lose chewing ability when a tooth is lost, but unreplaced teeth can cause other teeth to be lost, tipped or crowded and create subsequent problems.
Also, there are the obvious problems of poor appearance and loss of self-esteem caused by one or more missing teeth.Dental implants should always be considered as an option to replace a failing or missing tooth. Replacement of lost teeth with dental implants has been used for treating missing teeth for more than 50 years and is recognized as an effective treatment choice. Treatment is considered more predictable than bridgework, resin bonded bridges and root canal treatment. Here are the benefits:
- The mouth is restored as closely as possible to its natural state. By replacing the entire tooth, including the root, it is possible to replicate the function of natural teeth, with a strong, stable foundation that allows comfortable biting and chewing. In addition, nothing in the mouth looks, or feels artificial.
- Implants preserve the integrity of facial structures. By preventing the bone resorption that would normally occur with the loss of teeth, the facial structures remain intact. This is particularly important when all of the teeth are missing, as the lower one-third of the face collapses if implants are not placed to preserve the bone.
- Your smile is improved when replacement teeth look more like natural teeth. Even when only one tooth is missing, long term esthetics are usually much better with an implant supported replacement tooth than with a traditional tooth supported bridge. This is particularly important in the front of your mouth, where preventing a visible bone defect is critical for natural appearance.
- Adjacent teeth are not compromised to replace missing teeth. Tooth replacement with traditional tooth-supported bridges requires grinding down the teeth adjacent to the missing tooth/teeth, so that the bridge can be cemented onto them. This tooth structure can never be replaced and the long-term health of these teeth is compromised. Partial dentures have clasps that hook onto adjacent teeth, putting pressure on them as the partial rocks back and forth. Eventually these teeth can loosen and come out as a result of this pressure. Replacing missing teeth with implant supported crowns/bridges does not involve the adjacent natural teeth, so they a1.re not compromised, or damaged.
- Overall quality of life is enhanced with replacement teeth that look, feel and function like natural teeth. With implant supported replacement teeth, the appearance of the smile is more natural and the teeth function more like natural teeth. The result is increased comfort and confidence when smiling, speaking, and eating. If dentures and partials are replaced with implant supported teeth, the overall enhancement in quality of life is even more significant, with an ability to eat all types of foods, elimination of messy adhesives, and improved speech, comfort and appearance.
- Convenient oral hygiene. It is much easier to care for an implant supported crown, which can be cleaned like a natural tooth. In comparison, a tooth supported bridge requires the use of a floss threader for proper cleaning. It is also more convenient to clean a full set of implant supported replacement teeth than a traditional denture.
- Improved appearance. Since implants preserve bone, preventing deterioration of the facial structures, appearance is improved. Collapse of the lower one-third of the face caused by complete tooth loss can be visually corrected and the remaining bone preserved. The appearance of wrinkles around the mouth caused by posterior bite collapse, or complete facial structure collapse is virtually eliminated.
- Restored self-esteem and renewed self-confidence. Many of the people who now enjoy the benefits of implant supported replacement teeth state that their self esteem and self confidence have been restored as a result of improved appearance, function, comfort, and health.