USE IT OR LOSE IT: TOOTH LOSS CAUSES BONE LOSS
WHAT ARE IMPLANTS?
Implants replace the tooth root and build the foundations for crowns, bridges and fixed or removable dentures.
DENTAL IMPLANTS ARE:
1. Artificial tooth roots, which support ceramic crowns or bridges.
2. Shaped like a small screw or post and are surgically inserted into the jaw.
3. Made of titanium which is both light and strong. The bone of the jaw fuses to the implant over time.
Many lose their teeth to various reasons. These could be due to trauma, negligence, or genetics. But one should not suffer from missing teeth.
There are various options to replace a missing single tooth. The implant option is one of the best if not the best method to replace a missing tooth. Implants avoid the need to prepare adjacent teeth for a bridge. Therefore, adjacent teeth can stay intact and an individual implant can replace the missing tooth.
For multiple missing teeth several options are available. However, the implant counteracts further bone loss, via bone stimulation while chewing. When you are missing all of your teeth there are many options available depending on the patient's needs. Only the implant option prevents further bone loss.
HOW MISSING TEETH CAN AFFECT BONE HEALTH?
- A missing tooth can affect our bone health, causing bone tissue to diminish.
- For multiple missing teeth bone loss can become significant, causing a change in jaw line and facial appearance.
- When you are missing all of your teeth bone deterioration can become so severe that facial structure can collapse.
WHY YOU SHOULD NOT IGNORE MISSING OR DAMAGED TEETH:
Missing or damaged teeth affect our quality of life due to the negative impact on both function and appearance.
These may include:
1. Emotional well-being and self-confidence
- less confidence to smile and laugh
- too self conscious to interact with others
- may be at risk of experiencing emotional disorders such as depression, anxiety, etc.
2. Physical health
- nutrition can be impacted due to a restricted diet
- difficulty chewing and eating hard or fibrous foods such as nuts, fruits, and vegetables
- teeth may shift, affecting how the upper and lower teeth meet when biting
- possible muscle and joint problems
- when missing all or most teeth, the jawbone may shrink
- facial features can change
CARING FOR YOUR NEW TEETH:
If cared for properly, an implant restoration can remain in place for many years. It is generally recognized that once an implant has been placed, maintaining diligent oral hygiene habits is required to ensure proper fusing of the implant and bone structure.
Failure to floss and brush is a leading cause of implant failure, and infection can occur if the implant and surrounding areas are not cleaned.
Routine follow-up appointments and cleaning still are required with your dentist and hygienist to ensure the longevity of your treatment.