Mind the Gap: Regain Your Smile With Dental Implants

Have you bitten off more than you can chew, quite literally? Perhaps you ripped out a tooth while eating an apple, or a hard ball to the mouth left you toothless while playing sports? Or maybe years of decay and neglect has left you with more gaps between your teeth than you care to admit? The absence of one or more tooth does not only impact the way you look but also have negative consequences for your overall oral health. Thanks to developments in dentistry over the years, replacement teeth and restoring your smile to its former glory are easily attainable. There are many options on the market from which to choose, dentures, bridges and partials, but dental implants are the most popular choice because they closely resemble a real tooth. 

What are they and how do they work?
They are “the roots” that false teeth are attached to. Implants, which are small titanium screws, are implanted into the jaw. The body recognises them as part of the mouth, meaning that the chances of the implants rejection are low. Soon tissue grows over, and the tooth becomes firmly embedded, not much different from a naturally-grown tooth. The wearer can enjoy life unhindered; eating and performing daily activities without worry that the tooth might slip out of place or fall out. 

Should I get a dental implant? I'm not self-conscious about my gap tooth 
While many people undergo teeth replacement procedure because of appearance, it is not the only reason to do so. The absence of one or more teeth might lead to problems down the line that impair your ability to eat and talk properly. Your teeth are vital because they keep the jawbone stimulated, and without them, the bones become brittle due to lack of use. As the bones soften, your face changes shape and appears aged. Having replacement teeth implanted at the root keeps the bones active. You might also experience your remaining teeth shifting out of alignment in attempting to fill the space where your tooth was. This might not seem problematic to you and nature's way of healing, but it does impact the way you bite and chew your food. Wounds will form where your tooth was, leaving you vulnerable to nasty gum diseases. 

Are there risks? 
Implant rejections are few and far between, but they can happen in sporadic cases where the person has an allergy toward titanium. Pre-existing gum conditions have to be treated before this procedure can be considered. The procedure relies on fusing with the jaw bone, a process called ossification, but in the event of scar tissue forming, the implant loosens, and the wearer will experience pain. If this happens, the person will have to repeat the process. 

Why are these better replacement teeth than others? 
While false teeth have improved people's lives, implants are permanent. Once inserted, they work and act like real teeth. You can have them for a lifetime. The same cannot be said about dentures and bridges. Implants will not slip out of place or fall out at inopportune times, like during a conversation because they are fixed in your mouth. At the same time, your brushing and flossing habits do not need to adapt, just carry on as before. Dentures require more maintenance. You need to clean them with special cleaning agents and to fix them requires specific glue.