Did you know that gum disease can double your chances of cardiovascular problems and that tooth loss heightens the risk for gum disease? Those who are missing teeth are also more liable to suffer from tooth decay and jawbone deterioration. That’s why it’s important to seek treatment if you are missing teeth. Generally speaking, the best treatment available for missing teeth is the dental implant, because it can comprehensively correct for many of the adverse consequences of tooth loss. By replacing the tooth from root to crown, dental implants can help protect you from dental infection, bone loss, crooked teeth, and a host of other complications that stem from the loss of teeth.
Tooth Loss, Dental Infection, and How Dental Implants Can Help
A missing tooth can leave a large gap behind in your smile. Gaps like these can be difficult to clean because they create abnormal surfaces that we aren’t accustomed to brushing and flossing. The result is that we tend to neglect these areas of the mouth, when in fact we should be paying extra attention to them. Why do these gaps deserve more of our attention? As we eat, food debris is likely to get wedged and jammed between the walls of the teeth adjacent to the gap. This food, especially if it’s carbohydrate heavy, invites dangerous bacteria to break it down and pass it as an acidic waste that gradually demineralizes, and ultimately eliminates, the various layers of tissue that make up our teeth. As a result, persons who suffer from tooth loss are more likely to also suffer from bacteria-caused dental infections like gum disease and cavities.
By replacing the gap with a dental implant, you eliminate the food trap and help improve your oral hygiene. In the case of the latter benefit, implants are cleaned just like natural teeth: by brushing and flossing them on a regular basis. There are no additional surfaces to worry about, no special cleaning instructions, and no added complications to keeping a healthy smile.
You can read more about these and other benefits here: “Benefits of Dental Implants.”
Missing Teeth and Bone Loss
Jawbones, like a muscle, need to be worked out. They get the exercise they need from their daily use, such as when we talk or chew. Teeth are central to a strong jawbone, however. It’s our teeth that transmit the energy, pressure, and force of the movements of our jaws to the bone tissue that makes it up. By creating slight tears in the tissue, our teeth prompt a process of bone regeneration and growth that ultimately serves to make our jaws stronger and healthier. Without our teeth, that process is forgone and this leads to the gradual degeneration of the bone, which is no longer receiving the stimulation it needs to stay in healthy conditions.
Patients who are missing teeth are likely to experience jawbone deterioration, since the loss of the tooth can compromise the bone regeneration process in the affected area of the jaw. The more time tooth loss is left untreated, the greater the damage to the jaw is likely to be. Sometimes, the deterioration can be bad enough to make the placement of a dental implant risky, in which case the patient may need to be treated with a bone graft. However, once the implant is in place, it completes the same function as the replaced tooth by inciting the regenerative process.
Other tooth replacement systems don’t offer the same benefits. In fact, removable dentures can often make the problem worse. To learn more about why dental implants are preferred over other tooth replacement treatments, including removable dentures and dental bridges, read: “Dental Implants vs. Dentures.”
How Dental Implants Help Your Teeth Stay Straight
Teeth rely on each other to stay in place and remain straight. There’s a pressure to move and to shift, but when teeth are pressing against each other then there’s nowhere to go. However, a missing tooth leaves a space that adjacent teeth can move into. This leads to other spaces forming between the rest of your teeth and over time the result is a crooked smile. Even if you treat this problem with braces, you will still need to replace the missing tooth, otherwise you’ll just suffer from the same issue in the future again.
A dental implant replaces the missing tooth from the root to the crown. By plugging the gap left behind by tooth loss, the implant will also help ensure that the rest of your teeth don’t take advantage by moving around. That means you won’t have to worry about your teeth going crooked; instead, you can enjoy a stunningly straight smile you’ll love to show off.
Schedule Your Dental Implants Consultation
Dental implants are the premier treatment for tooth loss because they can comprehensive address the many dental health issues associated with missing teeth. They are also remarkably natural looking, providing you with the picture perfect smile you deserve. If you are ready to take the next step towards boosting your quality of life, contact our Newport News dental practice to schedule your complimentary consultation with Dr. William T. Griffin: 757-873-3001.