As children, missing a few teeth was considered cute. The prospect of tooth fairy collecting your tooth made losing a tooth exciting. But as an adult, losing teeth is not something anyone looks forward to. If you knew you were putting yourself at risk of a toothless smile in the future, you’d want to do everything you could to prevent it, right?
However tooth loss has become a very common problem and the use of dental implants for replacement is a common practice now.
A dental implant is like a titanium screw (like a tooth root) that is surgically positioned into the jawbone beneath the gum and allows the dentist to missing teeth into that area.
The history of dental implants dates back to the ancient Egyptian civilization when carved sea shells and stone were placed in human jaw bone to replace missing teeth. But the major break through in dental implantology occurred in 1957 when a Swedish Orthopedic surgeon Dr.Per Ingvar Branemark discovered that bone could grow in proximity with titanium and it could effectively be adhered to metal without being rejected. This phenomenon was called “Osseointegration “and proved to be the foundation stone of Dental implantology.
Why it is important to replace missing teeth
Tooth loss can occur due to various reasons like trauma, gum disease, failed root canal treatment, grossly decayed teeth or congenitally missing teeth but replacing the missing teeth is of utmost importance.
- By far, the most obvious consequence of missing teeth is the unaesthetic appearance. After all, the way you look has a direct influence on how you feel. Therefore, missing a tooth, particularly in a fairly visible spot, will inevitably have a negative psychological and social impact.
- Without teeth support,your gums and jaw bone begin to deteriorate as there is nothing to stimulate them. Because of this bone loss -sagging of facial muscles occur that makes one look older than usual.
- Moreover, movement of adjacent and opposing natural teeth may occur because of the gap produced by missing tooth.
As a result, the function, aesthetics, and health in the missing area are all affected. The more teeth you miss, the more severe the potential risks you’re exposing yourself to. In fact extreme bone loss can lead to jaw fractures, as the bone volume depletes more and more. While some people don’t even bother with back teeth, keep in mind that the front incisors will have to take over the chewing function. However, the front teeth are not designed for chewing and cannot support the weight of the face.Also loss of all teeth leads to reduction in the vertical dimension of face.
Advantages of replacing missing teeth:
- A dental implant can do wonders for self-esteem, because it feels and looks like a normal tooth. Many people who were shy about smiling because of a space from a lost tooth feel more comfortable after a dental implant. Beyond the aesthetics, a dental implant also makes it easier to eat and speak.
- A fixed replacement option without disturbing adjacent sound teeth
- The only fixed option for patients with no teeth at all.
- The most important advantage of implant is preservation of jaw bone.
It is a big life style change especially for patients with all teeth missing as they no-longer have to put up with loose ill-fitting denture and suffer from digestive problems or social embarrassment.
With 95% of success rate, dental implants have been providing unparallel levels of convenience, effectiveness and affordability to patients.