“I’ve lost a tooth do I need a dental implant?” This is a question that we’re often asked by patients, and which we’re going to answer in this article. So pull up a chair and enjoy the read.
Getting dental implants is a big decision – both in monetary terms and in terms of your oral health, so you need to be sure it’s the right decision for you.
So, let’s start with why you should replace a missing tooth. After all… if it’s at the back of the mouth where no one can see it, why bother?
Once a tooth is missing it triggers a chain of negative events that can cause further dental problems. The neighbouring teeth start to shift towards the gap and this causes a domino effect as the teeth next to them move position. As a result, teeth become misaligned and this can affect your bite. Since crooked teeth are harder to clean, it can also cause tooth decay and further tooth loss.
Once a patient realises that a missing tooth is not simply about cosmetic issues but also has a detrimental effect on their oral health and day to day living, then it’s easier for them to understand that the answer to “do I need a dental implant” which is usually a resounding, yes!
What are dental implants anyway?
Dental implants are the best form of tooth replacement and when cared for, can last for many years to come. One of the main factors that deter patients from getting dental implants is the surgical dental implant procedure. Fortunately, with advances in modern technology, patients find that dental implant surgery is nowhere near as scary as they perceive it to be.
So, what is the dental implant procedure? Let’s take a closer look
Dental implants act as artificial tooth roots and are placed into the jaw during dental implant surgery at the site of the missing tooth. Made from biocompatible titanium, they bond over time with the bone to create a strong platform that can support a dental crown or bridge. Using the All on 4/6 Full-Arch Implant solution our experienced dentists can also replace a full arch of missing teeth.
Before getting dental implants patients will be assessed for their eligibility for the dental implant procedure. Typically they need to have a healthy mouth and sufficient bone to support the implant. They also need to be in good medical health and able to undergo dental implant surgery.
At DDSS/DDII we’re pleased to offer patients digital dental implants which provide many benefits over conventional implants since they are minimally invasive and don’t require sutures. Benefits for patients include:
- A more comfortable and shorter surgery – often as little as 10-20 minutes
- Faster healing time
- Computer-guided technology for safer accurate placement
Digital dental implant surgery only requires minimal incisions because we use 3D CT imaging that allows us to check the condition of the bone and the position of the nerves. The hole is large enough to fit an implant but small enough not to need sutures. As well as reducing recovery time, it also lessens the risk of swelling, bleeding and infection.
So, since in most cases we would say yes, you do need a dental implant, let’s take a look at the benefits.
What are the benefits of undergoing dental implant surgery?
The dental implant procedure takes place in several stages so it can be up to 6 months or longer before treatment is complete – but the benefits more than make up for the wait.
The closest thing to your real teeth
We provide exquisite ceramic dental crowns that are carefully matched to the colour of your natural teeth so that they blend seamlessly into your smile. Once your implants have healed after dental implant surgery, they feel and act just like natural teeth, and are the closest thing to having your real teeth back again.
Unlike dentures, they won’t lose their fit and move around, neither do they have to be taken out of your mouth and left to soak overnight. Also, they have almost as much bite force as real teeth so patients can enjoy all of their favourite foods once more whether that be crunchy nuts or a chewy steak.
Prevents bone loss
When a tooth is lost, the bone that supports it is resorbed by the body. As a result and over time, the jawbone starts to change shape, and the cheeks and lips start to sag, giving a hollow look that makes a person look older.
Dental implant surgery involves replacing lost tooth roots with implants that take on the role of artificial roots. As a result, they stimulate the bone to keep it healthy and dense. Consequently, facial structures are supported and no more bone loss occurs. While other dental appliances such as dentures and bridges do a good job of replacing missing teeth, unfortunately, they cannot prevent bone loss.
Preserves adjacent teeth
Unlike a dental bridge, the dental implant procedure doesn’t rely on adjacent teeth to support the implants. With a bridge, the healthy teeth at either end of the tooth gap have to be modified to accommodate supporting crowns, and this can weaken them and make them more susceptible to decay.
So, do I need a dental implant?
Yes, if you don’t want to wear a denture or a bridge. Getting dental implants does require a short bout of dental implant surgery but with the latest digital dental techniques and dental sedation, it will be over before you know it.
If you want to find out more about dental implant surgery and whether you’re an eligible candidate for dental implants, why not contact the experienced team at DDSS/DDII.