Missing teeth are a problem. You have holes in your smile, obviously, and that can make you self-conscious and embarrassed. But there are also functional issues. You may have difficulty speaking, biting, or chewing. Plus, over time, the absence of teeth will affect your jawbone and the shape of your face. Missing teeth need to be replaced – the only question is: Are dental implants the right solution?
Complications of Missing Teeth
Serious oral health problems can develop as a result of a tooth’s absence. While one missing molar might not seem like a big deal, it is. That gap between teeth can cause the neighboring teeth to move over time, floating out of their own spots to fill the space. This occurrence can lead to gaps and crooked teeth, like a rickety picket fence. Shifting teeth also disturb alignment, which can cause discomfort and damage any orthodontic work that a person has undergone.
If you are missing multiple teeth, like all the teeth on the top or bottom of your mouth, it won’t be long before you begin to look older than you are. A person’s face will begin to collapse in on itself because of an unstimulated jawbone, leading to a compressed, shrunken appearance.
Types of Dental Implants
There are a few different types of dental implants, so patients have options when it comes to this dental restoration.
- Dental implants: Traditional dental implants change lives, giving people back their confidence and enabling them to speak and eat normally and comfortably again. A titanium root is surgically implanted into the jawbone and given time to heal and integrate naturally with the bone. From there, a customized dental crown is created and attached to the top of the implant for a secure, natural-looking repair.
- Snap-on dentures: This affordable option involves the placement of only two dental implants, compared to the typical four to six implants used in regular implant surgeries. The snap-on denture delivers stability by snapping into place on top of the implants. This solution also eliminates the need for messy creams and adhesives and looks and feels like natural teeth. You’ll have improved chewing and speech and not have to worry about embarrassing denture mishaps.
- Implant-supported partial dentures: When you are missing all the molars on at least one side of one of your arches, a partial denture – supported by a dental implant placed in the back of the jaw – can be used to hold the denture in place, a more comfortable solution that also helps prevent the loss of other teeth.
Dental implants can also be used to support a complete denture, known as an overdenture, or a dental bridge that spans two to four teeth. This dental restoration is versatile and there is always a way to permanently replace missing teeth.
Are Dental Implants Right for You?
If you are living with missing teeth, it’s time to figure out how to replace them. Whether the tooth or teeth were lost to gum disease, extraction, trauma, accident, or otherwise, there is a solution. All you need to do is trust your dentist to help you find it. Contact Dr. Alana Macalik, Arlington dentist, to schedule your consultation and learn more.