Missing teeth are a serious dental issue. Whether a person is missing a tooth due to gum disease, decay, or an accident (i.e. getting hit in the mouth with a baseball), the problem needs to be addressed in a timely manner.
Dental implants are a great option for people who need to replace one tooth, a few teeth, or a full set of teeth and do not want to use dentures or partials. Implants allow patients to have a full smile, which improves both oral health and appearance.
Missing teeth create ongoing issues for a patient's health as well as self-esteem. Most people are not happy waking up and looking in the mirror every morning to see a smile with missing teeth.
These missing teeth leave gaps in the mouth, which can lead to other teeth moving out of place. The lack of teeth also means that there aren't any teeth roots, which can lead to tissue and/or bone loss. Finally, missing teeth can make it difficult to eat a proper diet, particularly for elderly individuals. Not getting essential nutrients can lead to a variety of additional health issues.
Many dentists recommend dental implants rather than dentures and other appliances. Dental implants require a procedure in which titanium posts are inserted into the site where a tooth is missing. Similar to a tooth root, the post creates a firm foundation. Through osseointegration, the post fuses with the site to become a permanent component of the mouth, ensuring a long-lasting fit.
After the implant is in the jawbone, a crown is placed on top. The crown looks and functions just like a genuine tooth, enabling smooth speaking and eating. Dentists design crowns to match patients' teeth so that they look natural and do not stand out in a smile.
There are very few patients who are not good candidates for dental implants. Even if you smoke cigarettes, have substantial bone loss, suffer from gum disease or periodontal disease, or have existing long-term medical conditions (i.e. high blood pressure, diabetes), you may still be eligible for dental implants.