WHAT TO EXPECT IF WE HAVE MISSING TEETH
One can have problem of missing teeth at any point in life. Tooth loss can be due to trauma, accident, severe gum disease, tooth decay or even due to poor oral hygiene. If missing teeth are not replaced, they can lead to various consequences such as:
- Difficulty in chewing
- Speech problems resulting from the gap created by one or moremissing teeth
- Face may start look older and wrinkled with sunken cheeks asmissing teeth can cause sagging of muscles which can’t supportlips and cheeks
- Tooth decay and gum disease, over time, due to plaqueaccumulation & food entrapment in the gap caused by the missingteeth
- Untreated missing teeth may dent the facial appearance causinglow set-esteem or lack of confidence
- Hiding smile during conversations or at public gatherings to avoidthe embarrassment caused by a bad smile from missing teethMissing teeth can be replaced by number of options, among these dentalimplants being commonly used these days.
WHAT IS A DENTAL IMPLANT?
There are great advantages to choosing a dental implant for tooth replacement over other options. Dental implants are conservative because missing teeth can be replaced without affecting or altering the adjacent teeth. Furthermore, because dental implants integrate into the bone structure, they are very stable and can have the look and feel of one’s own natural teeth.
A dental implant is a small, titanium screw that is surgically placed within your jawbone. This screw will bond with natural jawbone, creating a stable foundation for your tooth restoration. A dental implant is a replacement for your missing tooth’s root. Not only does it fuse with your bone like a root, but it also stimulates and preserves your bone structure.
An abutment is placed between the implant and crown to connect all of the pieces together. Typically, a dental implant is a single crown replacing one tooth. But dental implants can also support multiple missing teeth with a bridge and even secure dentures. Depending on your specific condition and the type of implant chosen, your dentist will create a treatment plan tailored to meet your needs.
WHICH TYPE OF DENTAL IMPLANT IS BEST FOR YOU?
Here are some of the possible treatment plans depending on your situation:
- Single Tooth Dental Implants: If you’re missing a single tooth, one dental implant can replace it.
- Multiple Tooth Dental Implants: If you’re missing several teeth, they can be replaced by multiple dental implants. When you have multiple missing teeth adjacent to each other, you may find your best option is an implant-supported bridge. Typically, a bridge consists of two crowns on either side of your missing tooth gap with an artificial tooth held by those crowns in between. Now, instead of having the crowns attach to teeth, an implant-supported bridge has crowns that connect to dental implants. The process is similar to a single tooth dental implant. However, the teeth missing in the middle of the gap will not receive a dental implant.
- Full Mouth Dental Implants: If you’re missing all of your teeth, they can be replaced by full mouth dental implants.
- Replacing All Your Teeth: Use An ImplantRetain Denture If you are missing a majority or all of your teeth in an arch (upper or lower), then an implant-retained denture may be your best option.
- What is an implant-retained denture? A denture is an artificial arch of teeth. It rests on your gum line and gives you the appearance of a full set of teeth. The problem with traditional dentures is that they are removable, which means they can slip, slide, click, fall out, and make daily tasks uncomfortable like eating and talking.
To fix this problem, you can permanently secure your denture with dental implants. If you wear dentures, this may be the solution to all your denture problems. And if you have a lot of missing teeth, this may also be an excellent option to restore your smile and confidence.
AM I A GOOD CANDIDATE FOR DENTAL IMPLANTS?
For dental implant surgery, one needs to evaluate the quality and quantity of bone, any gum disease if present, age and generalized health of the patient, You’re an ideal candidate for a dental implant if:
- You’re in good general and oral health.
- You have adequate bone in your jaw to support the implant.
- You have healthy gum tissues that are free of periodontal disease.
WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF DENTAL IMPLANTS?
There are many advantages to dental implants, including:
- Improved appearance: Dental implants look and feel like your own teeth. And because they are designed to fuse with bone, they become permanent. 4Improved comfort: Because they become part of you, implants eliminate the discomfort of removable dentures.
- Better eating: Dental implants function like your own teeth, allowing you to eat your favourite foods with confidence and without pain.
- Improved confidence: Dental implants can give you back your smile and help you feel better about yourself.
- Improved oral health: Dental implants don’t require reducing other teeth, as a tooth-supported bridge does. Because nearby teeth are not altered to support the implant, more of your own teeth are left intact, improving long-term oral health. Individual implants also allow easier access between teeth, improving oral hygiene.
- Improved speech: With poor-fitting dentures, the teeth can slip within the mouth causing you to mumble or slur your words. Dental implants allow you to speak without the worry that teeth might slip.
- Durability. Implants are very durable and last many years with good care, and maintenance.
- Convenience. Removable dentures have to be removed every time. Dental implants eliminate the inconvenience of removing dentures.
Dr Amit Garg
MDS, (Oral and maxillofacial surgery)
PGIMS, Rohtak, India
Dr Nisha Garg
MDS (Conservative Dentistry and Endodontics)
Rajindra Hospital, Patiala, Punjab, India