Losing a tooth is something that no adult looks forward to. An adult tooth that is lost due to decay or accident will not grow back, leaving you with a void in your smile. Missing teeth can affect your confidence and your willingness to engage with others.
There are a few different procedures that your dentist can use to replace a missing tooth, but investing in dental implants can have the most positive impact on your oral health in the future.
1. Dental Implants Preserve Jawbone
Your natural teeth are anchored to your jawbone via roots. When you lose a tooth, both the visible part of the tooth (the crown) and the root are removed. Many dental procedures focus on restoring the crown in order to improve appearance, but dental implants address the actual health of your jawbone in addition to your outward aesthetic.
A post is surgically implanted into the cavity left behind by the root of a missing tooth. The jawbone perceives this post as being a root, and new bone will form to fuse with the post. This means that dental implants will preserve the density and structure of your jawbone and allow you to continue stimulating the jawbone through normal chewing.
2. Dental Implants Protect Surrounding Teeth
One of the more popular alternatives to implants when multiple teeth are missing is a bridge. You may think that a bridge will be easier to maintain over time, but it's important to think about the damage a fixed bridge can cause as well.
Fixed bridges are permanently attached to the nearest permanent tooth. The attachment point can weaken the natural tooth, making it susceptible to decay. An implant does not rely on the support of any surrounding teeth to replace a missing tooth in your smile.
You can protect your remaining teeth against potential damage without having to live with a missing tooth when you opt to invest in dental implants.
3. Dental Implants Protect Alignment
When a tooth in your smile goes missing, the surrounding teeth have a tendency to shift and move. This can create alignment problems that may require extensive dental procedures to correct in the future.
By working with your dentist to install a dental implant, you can fill the void where your missing tooth was. Having a dental implant serve as a replacement for your natural tooth will preserve the alignment of your remaining teeth, allowing you to avoid serious complications in the future.