Many people who have lost a tooth, either through having an accident or injury where a tooth has been knocked out and cannot be saved, are offered a choice of replacement by their dentist for treatment. This can be in the form of a denture, bridge or dental implant.
Depending on the severity of your tooth loss as well as any underlying oral health concerns, your dentist will be in the best position to recommend a solution that would suit your individual needs. There are many factors to take into consideration apart from the health of your existing teeth, gums and underlying jaw bone strength when making a decision. It may be that you have an active and busy lifestyle that would benefit more from a permanent solution, such as a dental implant, rather than a denture that would need more time-consuming care and attention to maintain.
For those who are unfamiliar with dental implants, this solution is often the most recommended because it offers the patient a more long-term and practical way of replacing missing teeth. An implant is actually a tiny, yet very strong screw made from titanium alloy that is surgically inserted into the jawbone at the site of the missing tooth. The screw and the surrounding tissue is then left to heal to allow for new bone to grow around the screw and form a strong foundation. A temporary crown is placed on the head of the screw while healing is going on. A few weeks later your dentist will replace the temporary crown with a permanent artificial tooth-replacement that is strongly bonded in place and perfectly matches your surrounding natural teeth.
Dental implants can also be used to help support removable dentures where the option for implants isn’t possible. This may be because of an area of unstable or damaged jawbone that couldn’t support a permanent implant, so a bridge or denture may be the best solution instead.
The Importance of a Smile
You may not be aware of just how important your appearance is until you have lost a tooth or even a few teeth. It may sound rather superficial to those who have all of their own teeth, but even one single missing tooth can be very emotionally stressful for many people. Being unable to smile with confidence can have a serious effect on our mental well-being and can lead to people becoming anxious about their smile – so much so that some people with missing teeth choose to avoid eye-contact with people and hide themselves away so they don’t have to reveal their missing teeth.
Our smile can be more important than you think, especially if you work in a situation where you meet and greet people on a daily basis, or have to give speeches or presentations at work to colleagues. We all want to portray the best first impression and would rather people remember us for our more positive features rather than for our missing tooth or teeth.
Because there is no overall difference in the look of dental implants when compared to your natural teeth, most people who are suitable for this procedure will take it over any other option. The results of having implants have shown an increase in patients confidence and overall morale when compared to the alternatives of dentures or bridges.