Don’t Let a Lost Tooth Steal Your Smile
You may be missing a tooth or two, but you probably want to keep the rest of your natural teeth if at all possible.
You can with the help of dental implants and our team at Hillstream Dental (formerly Hubbard & Leath Dental).
In today’s post, we want to explain why implants are a better investment for replacing your missing teeth and how they can help you protect the natural teeth you still have.
You can contact us online to request an appointment at our St. Clair Shores or our Rochester Hills, MI locations.
You Lose More Than Teeth
When one of your teeth falls out, have to be extracted, or gets knocked out, you are aware of the hole in your smile.
This can affect your self-confidence and your ability to eat certain foods. But below the gumline, other changes are taking place that could put more teeth at risk.
First, you are missing the root of your lost tooth. This matters because your roots help maintain the health of your jawbone. As you bite and chew, your roots put pressure on your jaw. Your jaw responds to that pressure by making new bone tissue. This is necessary to replace old tissue as it is absorbed by your body.
Without a root, that part of your jaw won’t make the new bone tissue. As a result, it will begin to shrink. It’s actually possible this part of your jaw could lose up to 25 percent of its bone mass within 12 months.
Your missing tooth also allows “drifting” to occur. When you have a full set of teeth, each individual tooth provides support for the surrounding teeth. When a tooth is removed, the neighboring teeth can drift into that open space.
These changes can put more teeth at risk of falling out.
If you lose more than one tooth, you still deal with the same problems only over a larger area of your mouth.
Fixing the Problems
Alligators, crocodiles, and sharks have the ability to regrow missing teeth. When humans lose a permanent tooth, it doesn’t grow back.
Thankfully, modern, root-form implants give us a way to create a complete artificial tooth. Implants are titanium screws that function like the roots of natural teeth.
They are placed directly into the jawbone. Through a process called osseointegration, your jaw bonds with the implant. This helps to anchor the implant in place.
It also means your implant can stimulate the jawbone when you eat. As a result, your jaw will continue to make new bone tissue.
With your implant held securely in place, it also can support a dental crown. Modern crowns look and feel like natural teeth. That means you can smile with confidence and continue eating your favorite foods — from steak to corn on the cob and crisp, fresh apples.
If you are missing multiple teeth, you can get more than one implant to support a dental bridge. This too will restore your smile along with your biting and chewing abilities.
One of the benefits of getting dental implants is that they can last the rest of your life.
To maintain them, you need to do the same things that you need to do with natural teeth:
- Brush your teeth daily
- Floss every day
- Get regular dental cleanings at Hillstream Dental
Your flossing technique may be a little different if you have an implant-supported bridge, but the purpose is the same — to remove food particles and plaque buildup in your mouth.
Don’t let the loss of one or two teeth cost you the rest of your smile. By taking steps today, you can restore your smile and protect any remaining natural teeth you still have.