When facing tooth loss, there are many things for you to consider. You'll want to replace your tooth for visual and functional reasons, but you may be unsure which option is right for you. Many dentists recommend that their patients replace missing teeth with implants. Here are four things that dental implants can do for you:
1. It can preserve the spacing of your teeth.
Each of the teeth in your mouth are important for the overall alignment of your teeth. They provide necessary obstacles to prevent adjacent teeth from shifting. When you lose a tooth, either through an accident or a dental extraction, the teeth to either side will eventually start to drift. This can create unwanted gaps in your teeth. It may even compromise your ability to chew or lead to crooked teeth. A dental implant will act as a placeholder to prevent the rest of your natural teeth from shifting.
2. It can prevent bone loss.
Your teeth are larger than they appear. The part of your tooth that you see above your gum line is only half of the tooth. Each tooth has roots that stretch down into your gums and into your jawbone. These roots help to preserve the integrity of your jawbone. Without your tooth, your bone may eventually begin to erode. Placing a dental implant into your jawbone will help prevent bone loss. This can lead to a more structurally sound jaw overall. It's better to get dental implants soon after an extraction, since it reduces the likelihood of you requiring a bone graft.
3. It will save you the hassle of dentures and adhesives.
Partial dentures are a common choice for people who lose a tooth. These dentures fit into your mouth using a metal frame that's similar to the ones used for retainers. More complete tooth loss may require larger dentures fixed in place using adhesives. While dentures are a good stopgap measure, some people find them too cumbersome for permanent use. Dentures need to be removed nightly, and some people find it difficult to keep them in place, even with adhesives.
4. It will allow you to eat and smile normally.
Tooth loss can take a toll on you both mentally and physically. A gap in your smile may cause feelings of insecurity. It can also lead to pain when eating certain foods, especially foods with a hard or crunchy texture. A dental implant is functionally and aesthetically indistinguishable from your natural teeth. When you wear an implant, you'll be able to enjoy your life as if you never had a tooth extracted at all.