Replacing a Missing Molar with a Dental Implant
Unlike some things in life, our teeth don’t last forever and can go missing at apparently any point of time. When we are little, we lose our teeth as a natural consequence of growing up.
Though the experience of losing teeth isn’t quite memorable (for most people), eventually we do get our missing teeth replaced by stronger, permanent teeth that support our jawline for most of our adult life. While that’s reassuring, there’s no guarantee that our so called “permanent” teeth are going to stay intact always. Although these adult teeth are meant to brace our oral health, they can go AWOL or become damaged due to several internal and external factors. Losing a tooth in your adult life usually happens because of poor oral hygiene practices (Hello, chocolate lovers!) that cause tooth decay or damage, unless you get ‘em knocked out in a bar fight (Going after that girl is always a bad idea. Always.).
However though, you may have lost your teeth, the good news is – the issue can be fixed. While you can’t expect any new teeth to magically start growing right from the root, there’s a dental procedure (good riddance!) called ‘Dental Implant’ which is potentially your best option to get your beautiful smile back.
Dental Implant – The Real Tooth Fairy
You do remember the famous ‘tooth-fairy’, don’t you? All throughout our childhood we’d been told about the fantasy fairy who left some pennies under our pillows in return for our broken little tooth. Well, truth be told, those fabulous fairies that made us rich were none other than our parents. (Yikes! Sorry to have ruined your childhood.)
But turns out, the real tooth fairy in the field of dentistry is a Dental Implant. Why?
Because instead of taking your broken tooth and leaving pennies for you, a dental implant takes pennies from you (more like dollars) and leaves you with a brand-new tooth that feels just like your own.
The process here is a little different than that from our childhood, but a hundred times better and reliable.
But Wait, What Exactly are Dental Implants?
Implants or Dental Implants are one of the methods of tooth replacement and are quite common because they are better than dentures and bridges. They are reliable, and not only look natural, like a real tooth, but also feel like it. They are a permanent solution that’s tried and tested to replace an individual tooth or multiple teeth as and when required. If taken good care of, dental implants are known to last a person for a lifespan.
Basically, they are a replacement for your teeth roots. Although, the process of fixing a dental implant could be quite long, in the end it is worth it.
The procedure involves replacing your damaged or broken tooth’s root with a dental implant, which is a metallic, screw-like artificial root made from titanium. It is surgically fixed into your jawbone where it acts like the root of a missing tooth. And the damaged tooth that has already been removed is replaced by an artificial one which looks and works much like a real tooth. Titanium is used for dental implants because it is anti-corrosive and has excellent biocompatibility. This means that it has the capabilities of bone formation and bone bonding. Which is exactly what a periodontist or an oral surgeon needs, to make sure that the treatment lasts as long as it possibly can.
Once the surgery has been done and the implant has been placed, it will take a few months for it to heal and fuse itself to the jawbone completely. When the implant has successfully bonded with the bone and the gum, an artificial replacement tooth is attached to the implant via an abutment. This can take a few or several months. Sometimes when more than one or all the teeth need replacement, an implant-supported bridge is the preferred solution.
When is a Dental Implant Needed?
When Some or All Your Teeth Go AWOL
Dental implants not only look real, but also help people feel confident and secure. If your teeth are chipped or lost due to injury, bad oral hygiene or whatever the reasons might be, getting a dental implant will help you smile like before as well as keep your mouth in a good shape.
When your Dentures Don’t Fit
Dentures, when they don’t fit properly, can cause discomfort and pain. They also have a risk of slipping and moving around, which causes discomfort while speaking and eating. Also, they don’t look or feel as natural as dental implants. The solution to all these problems?
Dental Implants! Because they are secure and can function just like real teeth. All you folks out there who are on dentures, trust us and please do yourself the favour of getting your dentures replaced with dental implants because the level of discomfort will decrease drastically! And they will not only save you so much time (that you spend in washing and cleaning those dentures every day, duh!) but money too (dental implants last you a lifetime if you take good care of them).
Signs of Infection/Tooth Decay
Gum disease is also known as periodontal disease and can cause tooth infection and decay. This occurs because of various reasons like poor oral hygiene, smoking and other uses of tobacco and misaligned teeth etc. No matter what the reason for tooth decay is, if the infection is bad enough that the tooth or teeth can’t be treated, a dental implant can prove to be beneficial. Moreover, it will relieve you from the recurring pain caused due to the infection while preventing any further tooth loss and decay.
Deterioration of the Jawbone
If you’ve had missing teeth for a long time and have done nothing about it, it’s time to act now as most probably your jawbone is causing itself to deteriorate and recede!
Fix it while you can with dental implants as they can save your jawbone from deterioration. Because implants are directly fixed into the jawbone, they stabilize it by filling in for missing teeth and can help reduce further damage. They replace your tooth structure and strengthen the jaw by stopping further bone loss caused by lost teeth.
Collapsed Facial Profile
If your face has a sunken-in appearance, your jaw is suffering from bone loss because of missing teeth. Patients who wear dentures are familiar with this condition. As dentures don’t encourage the growth of bone, like dental implants do, the jawbone continues to recede, giving the face a caved-in look, eventually causing your jaw and nose to jut out. Dental implants can benefit here as they exert the same kind of pressure as natural teeth and change the appearance of your jawbone completely whilst also improving the capacity to chew and speak.
These were just some of the reasons why one should consider getting dental or tooth implant.
Gum recession and Bone Density
While any of our teeth could be damaged and we could need one or more than one implant, the teeth that are most prone to damage and decay are our back molars. When it comes to adults, these are the most common teeth that people lose, and the reasons often go back to gum diseases, tooth decay or injury. Molars are more prone to damage in terms of tooth decay because of their location. As they are in deep corners of the mouth, they tend to be overlooked when flossing and brushing. Thus, bacteria can easily start eating away at the molar teeth and gums, causing the gums to draw away from the teeth and retreat. This process is better known as gum disease and if not treated on time, it can cause gum recession in the long run, which can eventually cause your jawbone to deteriorate.
Gum recession is when the roots of the teeth are exposed because the gum tissue is retracting. Receding gums can change the shape of your jawbone and make you look way older than you actually are. Gum recession can also be caused by:
- Misaligned teeth
- Teeth grinding
- Aggressive brushing and flossing
- Hereditary causes
A typical by-product of untreated gum disease is bone loss. As and when the gums draw away from the teeth, little pockets are formed which are ideal environments for bacteria and other microorganisms to grow. Stray food particles can get stuck in these spaces giving the bacteria even more reason to multiply. These bacteria eventually move towards the bone deep down and as the bone tissue erodes, craters, tooth loss and other side effects of severe deterioration begin to happen.
Bone loss can be prevented by dental implants as they do the work of our natural teeth and can provide an almost perfect natural bite force. But when a bone becomes weak, it loses its density and becomes more permeable. This process is called osteoporosis. It can make the bones brittle and cause them to break easily. When the body loses too much bone, Osteoporosis occurs and makes the bones very weak. To prevent this, it is very important to follow basic oral hygiene and eat calcium-rich foods that keep your bone health and density strong.
Implementing an Implant
It’s good to know that dental implants are reliable and a better option than some other dental treatments. While the procedure can make any potential patient nervous, most people are concerned more about the dental implant cost.
We, at Georgian Dental have a team of highly professional and experienced surgeons who are here to provide you with all the information you seek regarding dental implants. Whether you’re looking for All on Four Dental Implants, Implant Restoration, or Implant Supported Dentures, come visit us and we will figure out the best treatment for your teeth together.
So, if you can’t wait to get that perfect smile of yours back, visit our website or call us today to book a free initial consultation!