Replace That Missing Tooth in Chandler!
There are several ways one can lose a tooth. Sports injuries often knock out a tooth, as do any number of personal accidents and mishaps. Sometimes a cracked molar can't be saved, or a root canal fails, and the tooth must be extracted to prevent infection. Regardless of the reason why, if you've lost a tooth, you should be thinking about replacing it with a dental implant.
If your missing tooth is visible when you smile, you're probably ready to replace that tooth yesterday. You may already have a dental bridge to conceal the gap. But, regardless of its location, that missing tooth may lead to other dental problems as time goes by.
How A Gap Affects Your Mouth
Human dentition is a complex and well choreographed dance. When we are young, baby teeth are replaced slowly, one by one, for the formation of a well balanced arch of teeth. As our we get older, more molars come in as our jaws grow larger, each behind the last. Due to genetics, many of us benefit from orthodontics to give us a more balanced alignment, but every tooth plays an important role in how we chew, speak, and rest our jaw.
When a tooth goes missing, the first thing that happens is that the adjacent teeth will start to drift towards the gap. This can happen in a matter of months and begins a cascade of changes in your mouth. As those teeth shift, so too will the teeth next to them, until that whole section of your mouth is less stable than before, and more crooked.
Over time, the changes in your alignment will change your bite. Top and bottom teeth that used to fit together perfectly when you bite down will no longer align correctly. The teeth may push at each other, even when you are at rest. This can stress those teeth and even create tiny cracks or chips at those impact points.
If the tooth was a molar, it's loss will also change the way you chew. You may not even notice, at first, but without that critical chewing surface you will start to favor the other side of your mouth. This can put uneven strain on your jaw muscles, and even lead to popping in the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) or headaches.
Overall, it's never “just one tooth.” When a tooth is lost, several teeth will be affected by the changes that gap initiates. Replacing that tooth with an artificial root and crown is the best way to preserve the proper alignment and function of all your teeth.
Dental Implants are Replacement Teeth
In the past 30 years, implants have revolutionized the use of dental prosthetics. Traditional dental bridges are a great way to stabilize adjacent teeth and replace a missing tooth, but over time they can put undue strain on the supporting teeth, and need quite a bit of maintenance. Dental implants, on the other hand, are fully functional replacement teeth.
A dental implant is composed of a titanium base, which is implanted into the jaw in a surgical setting. Over a period of months, that base will fuse with the jaw bone, just like a natural root, and provide a stable support for a replacement tooth. After the base is stable and your mouth has healed, a porcelain crown is usually attached, via an abutment. This new tooth should never come loose or need adjustment. It is, for all intents and purposes, a fully functional, permanent replacement for your lost tooth. As an added bonus, it will never decay and will be more resistant to stains than your natural enamel.
The longer you go with a missing tooth, the more negative changes your mouth will experience. With a single dental implant, you'll soon feel like yourself again, and you may even forget the tooth was ever missing! Talk to Dr. Arooni if you would like to learn more about getting a dental implant. He will walk you through the procedure and explain each step of the process. We would love the opportunity to restore your mouth to optimal comfort and function.
To learn more about dental implants, call our Chandler, AZ dental practice today at 480-855-1200 for a consultation with Dr. Mark Arooni.