True or False: more than 70% of Americans are missing at least one tooth?
According to best estimates, the answer is true. For most, the missing tooth in question is a rear molar, not generally visible in most cases. However, this begs another question: if no one can see a tooth is missing, what does it matter? The answer is that it can matter quite a lot.
Why missing teeth matter
With missing teeth, the ability to speak and chew can become impaired. The contours of the face and lips will even change if enough teeth are lost, which will cause a person’s face to appear prematurely aged and sallow. Even worse, over time, a person’s bite may literally collapse. In this process the damage to one’s self-esteem – as well as the esteem of others – can be devastating.
Have you heard of the alveolar bone? It’s the bone that surrounds the teeth, and it requires regular stimulation in order to remain healthy. That’s the biggest problem with tooth loss; the bone loss that comes with it. You see, tiny stresses transmitted by the teeth themselves provide that stimulation. Without that stimulation the bone gradually erodes. In fact, in the first year alone, tooth loss can cause a 25% decrease in bone width, and even more in subsequent years. The implementation of Dental Implants is effective in keeping tooth loss from growing into the larger problem of bone loss.
What is a Dental Implant?
Dental implants are a natural looking prosthetic tooth, installed from the root up. They are a great alternative to dental bridges, partials or full dentures for patients missing teeth.
The Dental Implant has two main parts:
- The dental crown
(the visible, pearly-white part)
- The root
(the part below the gum line that anchors the tooth in the jaw)
A metal insert is placed in the jawbone that permanently replaces the root part of the tooth with a with a minor procedure. The dental crown, or “crown restoration”, is then placed atop the implant. The crown and the often screw-like insert create a complete tooth replacement system – a prosthetic tooth that’s created to look and function just like your natural teeth. The implant becomes fused to the living bone, it helps keep the bone healthy and functional. An excellent bonus — not only does the implant effectively saving your smile and your bite, it also rescues your self-esteem!
To learn more about how Dental Implants can save your smile, call Midway Family & Cosmetic Dentistry in Alpharetta, GA today at (678) 393-1868. We look forward to helping you look your healthy, vibrant best again!
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