Missing teeth are a common problem. In fact, it’s estimated that 178 million Americans have at least one tooth missing, and 40 million are missing all of them. However, just because it’s a common problem doesn’t mean you should ignore it.
At Beaumont Cherry Valley Dental in Beaumont, California, Daniel Park, DDS, provides a variety of tooth replacement options, but he considers dental implants the unparalleled solution for missing teeth. In this blog, he explains why.
The problem with missing teeth
Even a single lost tooth can compromise the structure and stability of your mouth. A missing tooth can lead to the following:
- Shifting teeth
- Bite changes
- Excessive or uneven wear on remaining teeth
- Impaired speaking and chewing
- Temporomandibular joint disorders, such as chronic headaches and jaw pain
Plus, you can experience changes in your facial structure due to a process called remodeling. Over your lifetime, your body absorbs old bone cells and generates new ones. When it comes to your teeth and jaws, when you bite and chew, this triggers your body to create new bone cells for your jaws.
Unfortunately, if you have a missing tooth, your body no longer receives signals to produce new cells in that area of your jaw. Instead, it starts reabsorbing the unused jawbone. As your bone disappears, you can undergo various physical changes to your bite and facial structure, including a collapsed mouth and recessed jaw. It can even increase your risk of losing more teeth.
How implants provide solutions
When we think of our teeth, we usually focus on the area above the gumline because of how it affects our smile and overall appearance. However, two-thirds of a tooth is hidden, extending deep into your jawbone to anchor your tooth and stimulate bone growth.
A dental implant replicates as closely as possible the structure of a natural tooth, with a tooth root and a crown. A dental implant has three parts: a titanium post, an abutment, and a crown. The post is anchored into your jawbone. The abutment goes on top of the post. And the crown is secured to the abutment. The only thing visible is the custom-made crown.
By replacing a missing tooth and its root with an implant, you have:
- Greater comfort
- A more secure fit and stability
- A natural-looking and functioning artificial tooth
Getting a dental implant takes several office visits and 2-6 months to complete. Part of this lengthy wait is due to the healing process in which your jawbone fuses around your implant post. However, once the site heals and Dr. Park attaches your custom-made crown, you have a new tooth that will last a lifetime. You just care for it like your natural teeth, brushing and flossing twice a day and getting regular professional cleanings.
To learn more about implants and to see if they can help you, book an appointment over the phone with Beaumont Cherry Valley Dental today.