If you’ve ever lost a tooth, you probably wanted to have it replaced as quickly as possible. Many patients are most concerned with the smile’s appearance, but an absent tooth can wreak havoc on your dental health, too.
For example, when a tooth is lost, the jawbone will wear away in the vicinity of the gap that remains. This can put the remaining healthy teeth in jeopardy.
Implant dentistry can help patients prevent the negative outcomes associated with tooth loss.
Dental implants offer the most complete tooth replacement method available, replicating the root in addition to the crown. Although the root is obscured by gum and bone, it is just as important to the smile’s aesthetics as the visible crown portion of the tooth.
The root helps to stabilize the jaw and hold the bone material in place. When an oral surgeon places a dental implant, the titanium screw-like device acts as an anchor to thwart bone loss.
Like tooth loss itself, the tooth replacement treatment you choose can also influence your dental health. A fixed permanent bridge, which restricts access to the gum line, can present obstacles to keeping the mouth clean. A patient must use a special tool to floss around a bridge, making it more difficult to clear bacteria-laden plaque and tartar from the area.
Similarly, a bridge only fills in for the tooth’s visible component, not the underlying root. As discussed above, a missing root can have serious consequences for the adjacent teeth that remain in the mouth.
Your tooth replacement device can also affect your diet and nutrition, which can also affect your oral health. Because it is rooted into the jaw, a dental implant is more functional than a bridge or a partial, so it is more effective at chewing a wider variety of foods.
If you must replace a missing tooth, choose your treatment carefully to maximize your chances of good long-term outcomes. Research all of the available options, their advantages and disadvantages, and consult with our skilled team of oral surgeons at Dallas Oral Surgery Associates for additional information.