What happens when you lose a tooth or more?
If you're missing a tooth or more, you may find that there are other things you miss. You may miss your natural smile. You may miss the ability to chew apples, crackers and other food you desire. Maybe you feel self-conscious about your teeth and mouth, or discomfort as remaining teeth shift. And perhaps you've experienced muscle strains, an inability to speak clearly, headaches or unease in familiar situations at work, with friends or at home.
*Photos are actual patients in our office
Naturally, the effect of tooth loss varies from person to person and depends on what exactly has been lost. If you've lost the crown, you've lost the visible part of your tooth. But if you've lost the root as well, you've lost the unseen part of your tooth. The root anchors the tooth in your jawbone, providing stable support for the crown. Without the root, the bone around the lost tooth may gradually recede, remaining teeth may shift and chewing may become more difficult with time.
You can choose from a number of ways to replace your tooth crowns. But if you're interested in replacing your entire tooth - crown and root - your only option is dental implants.
There are two parts to every tooth. The crown and the root. The crown is the visible part and the root is the unseen part which anchors the tooth in your jawbone, providing stable support for your crown. When an entire tooth is lost – crown and root - shrinkage of the jawbone may occur making the face look older. Dental implants can stop this process.
There are many ways to replace tooth crowns, but only dental implants can replace the entire tooth including both crown and root. Dental implants look, feel and function like your own natural teeth.
Dental implants eliminate the pain and discomfort of removable full or partial dentures. Since dentures sit on top of the jawbone and gums, continuous shrinkage of the jaw bone alters the fit of the denture resulting in slipping or rocking of the dentures. Exposed nerves and irritation of the gum tissue may add to the discomfort.
Implant supported replacement teeth are like natural teeth because they are anchored securely to your jawbone. Gum irritation and the pain of exposed nerves associated with conventional full or partial dentures are eliminated.
With ill fitting dentures, the teeth slip and slide around the mouth. The facial muscles become tense in an attempt to hold the teeth in place. This often results in mumbling, slurred speech or clicking noises. Implant supported replacement teeth allow you to speak with confidence in a relaxed and natural tone.
Dental implants can eliminate the numerous embarrassing inconveniences of removable partial and full dentures. You will eliminate the use of gooey denture adhesives that must be re-applied throughout the day. You will no longer need to cover your mouth when you laugh or smile, for fear that your teeth will pop out or fall down.
The average denture patient with an excellent fitting denture eats at 15-20% efficiency when compared to a person with natural teeth. As the jawbone shrinks, your chewing efficiency is reduced even more, making it difficult to eat certain foods. Dental implants, on the other hand, can restore chewing efficiency comparable to that of natural teeth. This allows you to eat your favorite foods with confidence and without pain. You can enjoy what everyone is eating and you don't have to think twice about it.
A full upper denture covers the palate of the mouth and reduces the ability to taste foods. With dental implants, you can have the palate removed from your upper denture so you can taste and enjoy your food.
Improved Self Esteem
Considering all other benefits, chances are that dental implants will improve your overall self- esteem and you will feel better about yourself. At least that is what many of those people who have already been treated with dental implants have told us. You can regain nearly all the capabilities you had with your natural teeth, giving you renewed confidence, and allowing you to enjoy life, do all the things everyone else is doing and not think twice about it.
Although dental implant treatment may initially be more expensive than other treatment methods it often turns out to be the best investment from a long term perspective since most patients can expect them to last a life time. Other treatment methods like bridges and dentures often requires regular alterations and adjustments over time.
Lifelong tooth replacement
Naturally, every treatment case presents unique conditions that can affect the longevity of a dental implant and no man-made product lasts forever. However, most patients who are treated with dental implants from Nobel Biocare should be able to expect lifelong replacement for their lost teeth.