Why Replacing Missing Teeth With Dental Implants is Important

dental implants San Francisco, CA

Missing teeth are not just a distraction from the smile. These gaps in the bite can cause various issues if not replaced with a dental implant. There are many methods for replacing missing teeth. Dentures, fixed bridges and removable partial dentures are a few of the options out there for patients who are missing teeth. However, dental implants are the only method for tooth replacement that prevents the sunken facial appearance that comes with missing teeth.

What are dental implants?

Dental implants are prosthetic teeth that are the most lifelike and natural-looking out of all teeth replacement methods. Implants are comprised of three parts: the post, the abutment and the restoration.

The post is a titanium screw-like rod that is inserted into the jawbone (this piece of the implant acts as the new tooth roots). The abutment is a peg that connects the post to the restoration. And, the restoration is the visible portion of the implant - ceramic crowns are usually used to top a dental implant. Together, with all three parts, dental implants effectively replace missing teeth in both functionality and appearance.

What happens when a tooth is lost?

Teeth can fall out for many reasons. Some of the reasons include prolonged periods of poor oral health, advanced age, tooth decay or injury to the mouth. As soon as a tooth is lost, the mouth begins to go through a lot of negative changes.

Teeth movement

When a missing tooth is left untreated, the surrounding teeth will begin to migrate toward the space. This natural action is an attempt to fill in that space by the other teeth. When this happens, the teeth can become crooked and bite problems arise.

Tooth loss

Teeth that move around due to the missing tooth may begin to loosen, especially the opposing tooth. Teeth are kept in place when we use them every day. In the absence of this bite force created by chewing, the opposing tooth will loosen due to disuse. Eventually, the tooth will fall out and more tooth loss can occur.

Jawbone density loss

Missing teeth pose a unique problem for the jawbone. Teeth are anchored into and supported by the jawbone. Once a tooth is lost, the jawbone is no longer being used, so it begins to deteriorate and shrink away. Teeth replacement methods like removable dentures and fixed bridges are supported by existing teeth or the mouth muscles and gums. Neither of these options utilizes the jawbone for support. The jaw will continue to disintegrate when these methods are used to replace teeth.

Dental implants are the only prosthetic devices that utilize the jawbone for support. Dental implants are surgically inserted directly into the jawbone where tooth loss has occurred. Because they use the jaw like a natural tooth, implants prevent jawbone volume loss.

Facial shape changes

As the jawbone deteriorates (as it does when using dentures), this bone loss creates a sunken appearance in the face. This sunken effect can make a person appear much older than they are. With the use of dental implants, the jawbone is kept intact, preventing this effect.

Need to replace a tooth?

If you have lost a tooth, consider replacing it with a dental implant. Implants are the most durable and realistic prosthetic teeth in modern dentistry. Give our office a call today to get started on your journey to a completed smile.

Request an appointment here: https://www.nicklevidds.com or call Nick Levi DDS at (402) 205-3415 for an appointment in our San Francisco office.

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