Losing a tooth can be scary.
Millions of Americans experience tooth loss every year, and it can have damaging physical and psychological consequences. Just one missing tooth can affect your smile and even alter the shape of your face. Being unhappy with your appearance can lead to low self-esteem and eventually anxiety and depression. Tooth loss can also put additional strain on and weaken surrounding teeth, as well as potentially leading to bone loss in the jaw bone.
But whether they have fallen out due to dental health reasons or have been knocked out by physical trauma, there is no need to lose hope. There are so many different options available nowadays to replace a lost tooth.
You could get removable dentures that fit over the gums, or a fixed bridge that is held in place by the teeth on either side of the gap. You could also opt for one of the most popular solutions – dental implants.
What are dental implants?
A dental implant is a replacement tooth root that fuses to the jawbone. It serves as an anchor to connect an artificial tooth, known as a crown, in place of the missing one. Dental implants are designed to fit seamlessly into your mouth and are custom-made so that they look and feel exactly like your natural teeth.
What are the benefits?
Dental implants are a more recent development than dentures and bridges, and offer numerous advantages.
Appearance: Although dentures and bridges can be extremely convincing, an implant becomes part of your natural teeth. They are designed to match the color and shape of your existing teeth, and it is impossible to tell the difference. Since it is fixed permanently to the jawbone, you never need to worry about it slipping out.
Maintenance: Unlike dentures, a dental implant is never removed and requires no additional maintenance or care. Simply treat it the same way you would treat your natural teeth, with twice-daily brushing and flossing. Bridges can sometimes obstruct access for flossing, making the task slightly more awkward.
Durability: Because dental implants are securely fastened to the jaw bone, they have the same strength and durability as a natural tooth, and can withstand the same levels of pressure. With bridges and dentures, you have to be careful when eating particularly hard foods, but dental implants should not affect your diet whatsoever. Furthermore, dentures may have to be replaced after extended use, and dental bridges can weaken over time, necessitating further treatment. A dental implant will not have this issue.
Although dental implants can be a more expensive option to replace missing teeth than bridges or dentures, they are by far the most unobtrusive option.
If you are missing one or more teeth and think dental implants might be right for you, why not give us a call? At Dolive DDS Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, based in Longview, Texas, we provide dental implants as well as a range of other cosmetic dentistry services. Book an initial consultation so we can speak with you about your specific needs.