If you have lost any of your teeth, you might be considering dental implants. Even a single missing tooth can be easily replaced with an implant, preventing a range of side effects that can result from a missing tooth. Even if your missing tooth or teeth seems like a purely cosmetic issue, the long-term results can be detrimental.
What Happens When You Lose a Tooth?
If you lose a tooth to decay, gum disease, trauma, or other issues, a gap is left behind in your smile. Your other teeth will naturally shift to fill this gap. This can make your teeth look more even, but in the long run it can cause serious problems. When your teeth move out of their natural position, it affects your alignment and your bite. In the long term, the damage can become serious, requiring extensive intervention.
Some of the long-term effects of even a single missing tooth can include:
- Premature wear
- Teeth grinding and clenching
- Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD)
- Cracks and chips
- Loss of mass in the jawbone
- Eventual loss of more teeth
Replacing your teeth is the best way to prevent these types of long-term problems. The best way to replace your teeth is with dental implants, which are the most realistic and effective form of prosthetic tooth.
How Dental Implants Can Help
Dentures or crown-and-bridge treatment can fill the empty spaces in your mouth, preventing malocclusion and making it less likely that you’ll develop TMD. However, only dental implants can prevent the loss of bone mass in your jaw. Implants consist of a prosthetic crown as well as an artificial tooth root. The artificial root is placed directly into the jawbone and is made of titanium or an alloy that includes titanium. The composition is important, because bone naturally forms a bond with titanium, making it possible for the new tooth root to stimulate growth in the jaw. With implants, you can avoid all the possible side effects of tooth loss and maintain a permanent, natural-looking smile.
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