Dental implants offer a state-of-the-art tooth replacement option. Even if you’re missing only a single tooth, an implant can make a huge difference in your appearance as well as the long-term health of your mouth. If you’ve lost a tooth, ask your dentist or periodontist how implants can help maintain your health and your smile.
The Impact of Missing Teeth on Your Health
A missing tooth might seem like an aesthetic issue rather than a health issue, but the truth is that having gaps in your smile can have detrimental long-term effects. If there is extra space in your mouth, your other teeth will shift to fill that space. Often, this natural movement results in misalignment, which creates a range of issues, some of which can be serious.
Some side effects that can result from having a missing tooth or teeth include:
- Accelerated wear and tear
- Bruxism, or clenching and grinding
- Misalignment and damage to the jaw joint (temporomandibular joint)
- Atrophy in the jaw bone
- Eventual loss of additional teeth
By replacing your missing tooth or teeth with dental implants provided by an implant dentist or periodontist, you can prevent these problems and maintain a healthy, beautiful smile well into the future.
How Dental Implants Help
Dental implants help maintain the health of your smile not only by filling in the empty spaces, but by stimulating continuing growth in your jawbone. Under normal circumstances, if a tooth is lost, the body automatically resorbs the bone that makes up the tooth socket. Dentures can fill the empty space in your mouth, but they rest on top of the gums and so have no effect on bone growth. With implants, however, your new tooth includes an artificial tooth root that is placed directly in the bone. The bone naturally bonds to the titanium in the implant, so the body responds by maintaining the integrity of the socket rather than resorbing it.
If you have one or more missing teeth, talk to our periodontist about how implants can help and whether this is the right tooth replacement option for you.