There are a variety of reasons a person can be missing a tooth: gum disease, excessive decay, or due to trauma such as sport injuries. Some people opt to simply leave the gap in their teeth, but this can lead to other dental problems down the road. That missing tooth needs to be replaced.
The team at Gentle Dental believes dental implants are far and away the best solution to replace a missing tooth.
What is a dental implant?
The name dental implant actually comes from the anchor portion of the entire tooth, the implant. Implants are made of titanium and are shaped like a screw. They are screwed down into the hole formerly occupied by the tooth root. Atop the implant a post is attached and an artificial tooth atop that. The three parts make up the dental implant. Once in place, a dental implant behaves and looks just like a natural tooth.
Why should I replace a missing tooth?
People think missing teeth are simply a cosmetic issue, and if the missing tooth isn’t in an obvious location, they often opt to not replace the tooth or teeth. Beyond the cosmetic issues of a gap in your teeth, there are dental problems:
- The teeth surrounding the missing tooth or teeth no longer have pressure on them to stay in place, so they slide over into the gap. This movement can change your bite and overall alignment.
- When you chew or bite, a good deal of force in involved. The tooth takes this energy and transfers it down the tooth into the jawbone beneath. This energy signals the jawbone to build new bone mass, keeping it healthy. When a tooth is missing, that energy doesn’t enter the jawbone and it begins to deteriorate. Over time, this leads to a sunken appearance in the area as the jawbone collapses inward.
- A missing molar can keep a person from eating certain foods, due to the difficulty in chewing them. This can lead to nutritional issues.
- Missing teeth can create whistling sounds when speaking.
Why should I choose an implant over a bridge?
Once placed, a dental implant behaves exactly like a natural tooth. The patient can eat any foods without worrying about the bite strength. Bite force transfers down into the jawbone, as it does with a natural tooth. This doesn’t happen with a bridge. Plus, when placing a bridge, the teeth on both sides of the missing tooth or teeth need to have crowns placed atop them to anchor the bridge. This involves shaving down some of the healthy top portion of the teeth to make room for the crowns. In contrast, implants don’t affect the adjacent teeth at all.
See? What’s not to love about dental implants? If you’re missing a tooth, give us a call at Gentle Dental. We place our own dental implants, so we can make your smile whole again. Give us a call at (732) 549-5660 to schedule an appointment.