The human body is amazing at compensating when there is an injury, a loss or some other form of dysfunction. Thus, if you’re missing a single tooth, it shouldn’t be that big of a deal, right? After all, the other teeth will just pick up the slack. If this aligns with your way of thinking, then you’re partially correct; your other teeth will compensate. The problem is that in their attempt to do so, other serious problems can emerge. As you continue reading, you’ll discover why it’s so critical to have even a single missing tooth replaced. Additionally, you’ll be introduced to the gold standard for tooth replacement: dental implant insertion.
Why It’s So Important to Have a Full Set of Teeth
The most important thing to know about your teeth is that each of them plays a significant role in maintaining your oral health. Thus, if even one goes missing for too long, you can be subject to the following issues:
- Tipping – This is when the teeth surrounding a vacated space start to lean in that direction in search of tension from the missing tooth.
- Super Eruption – When a tooth in the lower row is missing, its opposite in the upper row can begin to move away from the gums in an attempt to reestablish the missing tension.
- Reduction in Jawbone Density – Over time, prolonged tooth loss can lead to a decrease in jawbone mass.
- Further Tooth Loss – Any reduction in jawbone density can result in some of the remaining teeth becoming loose and eventually dislodging.
A Solution for Replacing Missing Teeth
When it comes to tooth replacement, the gold standard is dental implant insertion. It involves a cylinder-shaped titanium post being surgically inserted into the jawbone to create a foundation that can only be rivaled by the original tooth root itself.
The reestablished tension sends a message to your jawbone to restart the normal production of new bone cells, which helps to maintain healthier teeth and gums. Once the implant has fused with the bone through a process called osseointegration, you’ll be left with a lasting fixture that a titanium abutment (anchor) and final restoration can be attached to. The final result will be a smile that is just as functional as it is attractive.
Are You a Good Candidate?
The dental implant process has a 95% success rate. This is greatly due to the careful pre-qualification process that dentists use. It will involve examining your mouth for any signs of decay or jawbone loss. If you’re deemed eligible for the procedure, then your dentist will walk you through all the steps of the implant process, so you’ll know what to expect.
By being proactive about replacing your missing tooth, you can have the gap in your smile filled and get back to living an uninterrupted life.
About the Author
Dr. Gretchen Anjomi is a graduate of the Tufts University School of Dental Medicine. As part of her commitment to excellence, she has received additional training from the world-renowned Pankey Institute. Dr. Anjomi restores smiles and functionality by placing dental implants at Newton Corner Dental Care, and she can be reached for more information through her website.