Dental Implants are the Boss of Tooth Loss
Lots of people are missing a tooth or two…or all of them. The American Dental Association says that 178 million Americans are missing at least one tooth. Over 35 million Americans are missing all of their teeth. Whoa.
There are many reasons a person could opt to not replace a tooth: cost, inconvenience, inertia, or fear of the dentist (although Dr. Kalil and Dr. Kress are anything but scary!). But not replacing a missing tooth is a bad idea for the overall health of your teeth and jawbone.
Dr. Kalil and Dr. Kress are big fans of dental implants for the replacement of missing teeth. They feel and function just like a natural tooth, and they can last for the rest of your life.
What happens if you don’t replace a missing tooth?
You probably don’t give this a second’s thought, but your teeth are of critical importance to the health of your jawbone. There is a tremendous amount of energy created when you bite and chew. That energy is transferred through your teeth down into the jawbone where they are anchored. It is that energy that stimulates the jawbone to keep rebuilding new bone mass, which is the key to keeping your jaw healthy and strong.
Problems arise when you are missing a tooth, or even more so when you are missing two or three in a row. Now the jawbone doesn’t receive any energy in the locations of those missing teeth. This may seem innocuous, but it’s not. In those areas, the jawbone won’t build new mass. This leads to reabsorption of the bone over time. This is the reason that people who are missing all or most of their teeth look as if their lower face is collapsing inwards. It’s because the jawbone has eroded dramatically.
As if your jawbone health weren’t reason enough to replace missing teeth, there are the other issues. Cosmetically, especially if the missing tooth is one of your front teeth, the loss may make you avoid smiling. It may make you self-conscious in social or business situations. Biting can be a problem. If you’re missing a molar or two, you may avoid eating certain foods. There may be a whistling sound when you talk.
Plus, teeth stay in place thanks to pressure from the adjacent teeth. If you’re missing a couple teeth, the remaining teeth on both sides of the gap tend to slide over into the gap because there is no longer any pressure on them to stay put. This messes up your smile and can create problems with your bite.
Implants are groovy
Dental implants are the best solution for replacing a missing tooth. They get their name from the actual part of the implant that is the anchor. Made of titanium, implants are shaped like a screw and actually are screwed down into the jawbone into the socket where the tooth root formerly was anchored. Then the jawbone is allowed to grow around and fully integrate the implant into the jaw. From there, we place a post on the implant and an artificial tooth atop that. Now you have a tooth that looks just like any of your other teeth, functions just like them, and transfers energy down into the jawbone below.
How cool is that? Plus, you can eat whatever you want, and you care for an implant exactly like you do a natural tooth.
So, don’t leave that missing tooth missing. Have Dr. Kalil or Dr. Kress replace it with a dental implant. Call us at 603-880-7004 to make your appointment.