For many people who have one or more missing teeth, getting them replaced isn’t really a high priority. If they aren’t easily seen or causing issues with eating or speaking, then why spend the money on dental work? Unfortunately, tooth loss can lead to several negative consequences if left untreated for a long time, allowing a small problem to turn into a major health issue. However, dental implants in Lincoln can help not only restore the teeth, but stop all of these consequences from developing in the first place. How, and why does replacing your teeth matter so much in the first place? Read on to learn more.
The Inevitable Effects of Tooth Loss
When a tooth goes missing, people have to deal with more than just a gap in their smile. Untreated tooth loss can also lead to:
- Bone Degeneration: The jawbone that used to hold the tooth will naturally start to shrink and change shape over time as the body resorbs nutrients from it. This can lead to a sunken appearance and even cause the remaining teeth to shift and misalign.
- Chewing Problems: It’s difficult to eat fibrous vegetables and cooked meats without a full set of teeth, forcing some people to consume a diet mostly consisting of less nutritious foods, which can harm overall health.
- Wear & Tear: When one tooth goes missing, the others have to pick up the slack when it comes to breaking down food. This exposes them to additional stress which can cause them to wear down faster, leading to chips and cracks.
- Speech Issues: Many people with missing teeth develop an uncontrollable lisp or whistle with every word they say.
- Negative Self-Image: It’s easy to feel self-conscious about missing teeth, especially if they can be easily seen whenever a person speaks or smiles.
How Dental Implants Can Help
Traditional tooth replacements typically only restore the visible portion of the tooth, or the crown, which can solve many of the problems touched on above, but there is a big one that they can’t: bone degeneration. This is because the root of a tooth is also extremely important to someone’s oral health and function. This is where dental implants distinguish themselves from all other treatments.
Implants are the only replacement option that restores both the root and the crown. A titanium post is placed into the jawbone, and this actually increases blood flow to the area and encourages the growth of new bone, leading to a stronger and healthier jaw (which in turn prevents the remaining teeth from drifting out of place). As a result, a patient will not only enjoy a full and confident smile again, but they can trust that it will stay that way as well!
Are Dental Implants Right For You?
Whether you are missing just one or several teeth, dental implants can be used as an effective replacement. As long as you have stable overall health, decent dental health, and a strong enough jawbone to support the new roots, then you’re likely a good candidate for the treatment. Patients with thinner jawbones can also undergo a bone graft to make them viable for implants if needed.
In any case, if you have missing teeth, it’s best not to wait for problems to develop before trying to have them replaced. A proactive approach is best, and nothing will rebuild your smile more completely than dental implants. To learn more about this treatment and how it could help you, be sure to contact an implant dentist in your area.
About the Author
Dr. Chris Haag is a general, cosmetic, and implant dentist who has been practicing in Lincoln since 1992. To learn more about dental implants and other tooth replacement options that can help rebuild and protect your smile, he can be contacted through his website for questions.