Even with huge advancements in dentistry and increased awareness about oral hygiene all over the world, many people still suffer from tooth loss. This could happen due to a variety of reasons. In older times, the only treatment options available for missing teeth were bridges and dentures.
But with the new developments in dentistry, now there are other options available for people who have missing teeth. One of them is dental implants.
Through this article, we will try to answer some of the common questions that people have about dental implants like What are dental implants? Why are dental implants important? How to get dental implants? What is dental implant surgery? etc.
Before we proceed with the other questions, let us first look at the Definition of dental implants.
Dental implants are like a replacement for your teeth’ roots. These are metal structures or frames that are surgically placed inside your jawbone beneath your gums. Once these implants are in place, the artificial replacement teeth can then be mounted on these implants.
We will now look at the various other inquiries that people have about dental implants.
Feel free to skip ahead if one topic catches your eye:
- Conditions that require a Dental Implant.
- What happens when you don’t get a Dental Implant?
- How Dental Implants make your life easier?
- An alternative of Dental Implants
1. Conditions that require a Dental Implant
In this section, we will discuss the various conditions in which you can require a dental implant. Some of the common conditions that generally require dental implants include:
- Missing teeth
- Loose teeth and a wide gap between your teeth
- Cracked teeth
- Tooth decay
- Gum diseases
- Some genetic diseases
Missing teeth are the most common cause of dental implant usage. We normally do not realize the importance of teeth in our everyday lives. Our teeth are responsible for chewing food, but the loss of one or two teeth might not affect chewing too much. What does it affect then? That is our speech.
Teeth are very important for producing comprehensible speech. Missing teeth can cause difficulty in comprehensive speech production and can tremendously affect your life. Our speech and the ability to convey what is in our minds are probably the most important things for any social interaction. Lack of this ability can affect your social, professional, and personal lives negatively.
Also, lack of teeth that are normally visible to people will affect your dental structure and your appearance as a whole and this can lead to a lot of anxiety and depression in people.
Loose teeth and a wide gap between your teeth
With age, gums and jaw bones that hold teeth in position can become weak and cause teeth to become loose or shift places. Old people can feel the loose teeth in their gums which can be quite an uncomfortable feeling. This can often go unnoticed till the time, teeth become so loose that they fall off from the gums.
Also, This loosening and shifting of teeth can cause wide gaps among various teeth in the jaws. This can also occur due to any gum or jaw bone diseases.
Many a time, our teeth can break or crack during sports or while exercising. Usually, only the crown of the teeth crack and these can be repaired by filling or with restorative techniques. But sometimes, the whole tooth structure is destroyed, due to trauma. In cases like these, you will require a dental implant that can allow the placement of a new artificial tooth.
Tooth decay is caused when we lack in our oral hygiene. As we eat food, smaller food particles are stuck in the gaps between our teeth. If we do not brush our teeth, bacteria accumulate over these food particles and digest them for their survival releasing various compounds that lead to plaque formation over our teeth.
Eventually, these bacteria can lead to teeth destruction which requires dental treatment and can even lead to falling of teeth.
Gum diseases are characterized by inflammation (swelling) in gums that cause them to hurt and also make them more prone to bleeding easily and more frequently. This can change the gum structure and cause decreased integrity between gums and the teeth which could eventually lead to missing teeth.
Some genetic diseases
Certain genetic disorders can cause anodontia (no teeth), hypodontia (1-5 missing teeth) oligodontia (more than 5 missing teeth but some are present). Other genetic disorders can affect your teeth’ development and structure and gums. These can eventually cause missing teeth.
2. What happens when you don’t get a Dental Implant?
Although, you do have a choice to have dental implants or not, sometimes these are necessary to prevent further damage. The most common causes for delaying dental implants are the fear and anxiety that patients have about the procedure, costs, the amount of pain that they will have to endure, etc.
Not having dental implants at the right time can lead to many problems in the future, which we will discuss in this section.
As you lose your teeth, the jawbone also starts deteriorating and it can be damaged in about a year. The longer you wait, the more the bone is destroyed. After that, if you choose to have a dental implant, you will also have to undergo bone grafting, which is way more complex, costly, and painful.
Also, when you are missing a tooth and do not get a dental implant, the damage can spread to the adjacent teeth. This will lead to the destruction and loosening of other teeth, which in turn will lead to shifting teeth. This shifting might increase or decrease the space between teeth and there might not be enough space for a dental implant in the future.
This loosening and shifting of teeth will also cause you difficulty in speaking and chewing, which may lead to temporomandibular joint pain. It may also require you to have braces in order to re-align your teeth in the future.
Not getting dental implants at the right time can also lead you to bite your tongue and cheeks more often. This can cause problems with eating and can lead to chronic trauma to your tongue and gums. To avoid this, you will start using the other side of your mouth more often, and this will put an extra workload on the side with no missing teeth. This will lead to more cavities and damage to this site and you will be back to your dentist’s office for other problems.
3. How Dental Implants make your life easier?
Apart from preventing all the above-mentioned scenarios, dental implants also have a lot of other advantages which include:
- Improved appearance
- Improved speech
- Easier eating
- Better oral health
- More self-confidence
- More comfort
Dental implants look and feel exactly like your own teeth. If you have any missing teeth, nobody will be able to tell the difference between your dental implants and your permanent natural teeth. These dental implants fill the gaps caused by missing teeth and give your original dental structure and smile which significantly improves your overall appearance.
Missing or loose teeth can cause problems in speech production. Dental implants are fused with the bone and do not slip or move, problems that can frequently occur with dentures and bridges. Dental implants are the same as having your teeth, the only difference is that they are artificial. The improved speech will considerably make your social and professional life better.
Missing and loose teeth can give you problems in chewing food. Dental implants make sure that you have normal eating and chewing habits. Also, the food does not get stuck in the gaps that are created by missing teeth. This prevents further tooth damage by the accumulated food and bacteria.
Better oral health
Eliminating the gaps caused by missing teeth can significantly improve your oral health as food and bacteria will not be accumulated in those gaps. Missing or loose teeth are often associated with gum inflammation and pain, which can cause difficulty in brushing properly. This will be solved once you get dental implants.
Missing teeth can be associated with a lot of anxiety and depression regarding your appearance. With proper dental structure and appearance, you will regain your lost confidence and self-esteem. Dental implants will give you your smile back and make you feel much better about yourself.
Since the dental implants are fused in the bone and become a part of you, these are much more comfortable than removable dentures and bridges that require you to remove them repeatedly for cleaning, etc.
Dental implants are very durable and last for a very long time. So, these do not require frequent changes or procedures. If you take good care of your dental implants, these can even last you for a lifetime.
Dental implants are much more convenient than dentures because they do not require frequent removal and cleaning and are essentially a part of your gums like your other normal teeth.
4. An alternative of Dental Implants
When the topic comes to teeth replacement, dental implants are the first choice. But these might not be suitable for every patient. It may either be contraindicated in some people or just not preferred by some. Whatever the reason might be, there are some alternatives to dental implants which are discussed below.
- Full mouth dentures
- Partial dentures
- Fixed bridges
Full mouth dentures
Full mouth dentures are usually advised to people who have no teeth and require a whole set of teeth or for people who need to remove all their teeth due to decay and damage.
These are designed to replace both the upper and lower sets of teeth in a person with no teeth.
Partial dentures are ideal for people who have several teeth missing but still have some healthy functional teeth which need not be removed.
After taking an X-Ray and precisely taking all the necessary measurements of the missing teeth, your dentist will create a partial denture for you which will be made to fit to the point.
The artificial teeth are put on a plastic base that matches the color of your gums. This plastic base also contains a metal framework inside it. Thus, a partial denture can then be placed by you in your mouth and it gets fixed because of its shape or sometimes it also has metal clasps that are fixed to your teeth.
Partial dentures allow the patient to speak and eat easily and these are also very easy to clean and take care of because they can be easily removed. But easy removal also means less fixity and less stability which could be a little uncomfortable for some people. These can also require frequent repairs.
You will have straight teeth with full dentures. Full dentures allow the patients to chew and eat properly as compared to before teeth replacement when they had damaged teeth and gums. But there are still some restrictions in chewing certain foods. So, the diet of people with full dentures may somewhat be restricted.
Fixed bridges, unlike the dentures, are fixed in their place. Your dentist uses a special bonding material to fix these bridges in place, which can not be removed by you. These can only be removed by your dentists.
This fixity allows you to be more comfortable as these become a part of the overall teeth set. Also, they last a long time because you do not need to remove them for cleaning.
Therefore, it also means that these are difficult to clean and can cause damage to the adjacent teeth resulting in more dental visits.
You need to discuss all these options with your dentist and decide which option is best suited for you.
This was brief information about dental implants that will help you understand their importance, also when they are needed and how not having them at the right time cause you extra problems.
For further information, contact a qualified professional who will be able to guide you further in the subject of dental implants.
One such place is the Orion Dental Care clinic. At Orion Dental care, you will get the right advice about Dental Implants.