You can still remember how excited you’d get as a child when you lost a tooth. Oh, how you’d anticipate the tooth fairy arriving sometime in the wee hours of the night to deliver a reward for your precious ivory. Those days are long gone now because the recent loss of your teeth doesn’t stir any celebratory feelings. It’s actually quite depressing to have to live with missing teeth, but your local dentist has news about the best method to restore your smile, full function of your ivories and your confidence – dental implants in Columbia. Read on to learn what they are and why they’re the best option for you.
What are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are titanium posts that surgically are inserted into your jawbone to replace your missing roots. Because titanium is a biocompatible material, once it’s placed your natural jawbone will begin to produce new cells that will fuse with your implant to form a sturdy foundation.
After the post is placed, your dentist in Columbia will then attach an abutment to it, which acts as an extension that will allow a crown to be permanently fixed to the implants, recreating a natural-looking smile.
If you have consecutive teeth missing, your dentist can place an implant-retained bridge that will still be anchored by one or two abutments. In cases where an entire row or all your teeth are missing, he will place implant-retained prosthetics (dentures). Instead of being bonded to your gums like the traditional kind, they will snap into place.
Why are Dental Implants the Best Option for Tooth Replacement?
Dental implants stand in a class of their own because no other method of restoration goes to the heart of the problem – the missing tooth roots. By replacing the roots, implants provide a level of security, sturdiness and natural feel that’s quite similar to that of your regular teeth.
Here are some examples of how implants differ from other methods:
- Bridges – Instead of being anchored to an implant, the traditional bridge relies on the surrounding teeth to serve as abutments, resulting in a significant loss in stability.
- Dentures – As mentioned earlier, traditional dentures rely on adhesives to bond them to your gums. This also results in a lack of stability. Furthermore, it creates a state of anxiety, leaving you wondering whether they will fall out of your mouth. Patients with prosthetics also experience an inability to completely taste their food due to their palate being covered.
What Happens if You Don’t Replace Your Teeth?
The worst mistake you can make is to do nothing about your missing teeth. Your ivories and jawbone have a symbiotic relationship, maintaining the perfect amount of tension. The tension spurs continued bone growth and proper jaw alignment and occlusion (how your teeth meet when your mouth’s closed). Just one missing tooth can throw off the balance of the remaining teeth, causing them to shift.
Here are some examples of what can happen when you have at least one tooth missing:
- Tipping – You can think of tipping as the horizontal movement that can occur from tooth loss. The vacated area causes the surrounding teeth to move and shift in its direction. This is because your teeth are looking for the tension they rely on to stay in a healthy alignment.
- Super Eruption – The super eruption refers to a vertical movement. When there’s a missing tooth, the opposing one either above or below it will extend beyond the point of occlusion in search of tension.
Both problems can lead to jaw misalignment, issues with chewing and digesting food and other maladies.
There’s a silver lining in the clouds, though. It’s your local dental expert. By taking the proactive approach and reaching out to schedule a consultation, you’ll be able to learn more about the dental implant process and soon be back to living your life as normal with tons of new found confidence!
About the Author
Dr. Phillip Batson earned his dental degree from the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Dentistry. Since then, he has gone on to carry on the proud legacy of his father at Healthy Smiles. Dr. Batson can be reached for more information through his website.