Tooth loss can happen for a number of reasons, and if left untreated missing teeth can affect your everyday life in many ways. But, it doesn’t have to be that way. Dental implants are one of the best ways to keep your mouth healthy and your bones strong after losing a tooth. They’re a safe, permanent solution for missing teeth and can provide many benefits that bridges or dentures just can’t.
Implants replace the functionality, strength, and look of a natural tooth and allow you to bypass the discomfort and annoyance of traditional dentures or partial dentures. Let’s look at how an implant works and how they benefit your oral health.
Promotes Bone Health. The bones in the jaw are kept strong and healthy by the small movements of your teeth’s roots. When you lose one or more teeth, the part of the jaw that was once stimulated by those roots starts to slowly get smaller and weaker. This is where implants can play a very important role.
Unlike dentures or dental bridges, implants are actually placed in the jaw, filling the space where your tooth used to be. A full dental implant consists of three parts, the anchor, the abutment, and the crown. The anchor is the part that acts as the new root of the tooth. It is essentially a titanium screw that is placed in the space where your tooth used to be. This element is permanent, and effectively stimulates the jaw bone and prevents loss of bone mass over time.
Easy to Maintain. The part of the implant that can be seen is the dental crown. It’s attached to the implant by an element called the abutment. The crown looks and acts just like a natural tooth and can be cleaned and cared for as such. Because each element is separate, if there is ever damage to the crown, such as cracking or chipping, it can be replaced without disturbing the root element of the implant.
100% Functionality. Missing teeth can interfere with everyday activities such as talking and eating. Implants allow you to continue living your life as if you’d never lost a tooth. We only have twelve molars to begin with, and four of those are wisdom teeth, which are commonly extracted, leaving only eight functional molars.
These eight teeth are responsible for chewing most of our food, working in pairs of two. If one of these molars is lost, you actually lose the functionality of two molars at once. That means that by losing just one of your eight molars, you are losing almost twenty-five percent of your chewing functionality. By replacing a missing molar with an implant, you maintain all of your chewing ability and don’t put unnecessary strain on the rest of your teeth.
Keep Your Teeth and Your Health! The connection between your oral health and overall health is strong, and letting missing teeth go unaddressed can lead to many other health problems. Tooth loss can drastically change the health of your mouth, putting you at higher risk of decay and gum disease, which can attribute to health problems like heart disease. The teeth around the gap may start to move and fill the space, which can change your bite and cause jaw pain. Also, if you have multiple missing teeth, you are more likely to experience frequent headaches or migraines. On top of all of this, there’s a connection between missing teeth and the development of dementia.
The good news is that implants can help you avoid future problems. They are the smartest permanent solution to replacing missing teeth, and help keep your smile functional and beautiful for a lifetime!
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