Once an adult tooth is lost, it is gone forever. Consequently, the missing tooth can have a significant impact on a patient's appearance and health.
A lost tooth leaves a gap in the mouth. This wide space causes a smile to look less uniform. Additionally, the gap may further mar the appearance by allowing enough room for the remaining teeth to migrate. As the teeth move into the space left by a lost tooth, they become increasingly misaligned.
Also, a missing tooth can no longer stimulate the jawbone to produce the new cells that are necessary to avoid bone atrophy. As the jawbone shrinks, the face may take on a hollowed or sunken appearance.
People with lost teeth may also suffer health problems from inadequate nutrition. It can be difficult to chew food effectively enough for proper digestion after the loss of one or more teeth.
In order to avoid the problems associated with lost teeth, the dentist will likely prescribe a tooth-replacement application. There are several procedures that can be used to replace a lost tooth, but a dental implant may be preferred. Here are a few reasons why.
The Implant Does Not Require Damage to Other Teeth
The placement of a dental implant does not require the modification of other teeth. To fix a dental bridge in the mouth, the device is connected to abutment teeth. To prepare the abutment teeth for the placement of the bridge, a bit of tooth enamel must be removed so that the crowns can fit over the teeth.
With a dental implant, the device is placed through the gums into the bone of the jaw. After the implant has become stable in the jawbone, the device is covered by an abutment and a crown. The teeth adjacent to the implant remain unharmed throughout the restoration.
The Implant Stimulates the Jawbone
The natural teeth help the jawbone remain healthy by transferring bite pressure to the bone. This pressure stimulates the bone, inciting the development of additional cells. These new bone cells help the jawbone remain thick and healthy.
Since many other tooth-replacement devices, such as dental bridges and dentures, do not interact with the bone of the jaw, the jawbone can continue to shrink even though the restoration of the lost tooth has been completed. A dental implant typically transfers bite pressure just like natural tooth roots do.
To learn more about dental implants and their benefits, contact a dental clinic like Amato Dentistry.