Suppose you need a tooth extracted; what will you do about the empty space afterwards? Will you fill it with a dental implant, or will you just live with the gap? Some people might think letting the tooth stay missing will be the simpler, less costly option, but the truth is that an incomplete smile comes can lead to serious health problems. Here’s why dental implants in Flagstaff could save your oral health.
What Happens If a Missing Tooth Isn’t Replaced?
Missing teeth affect more than just your appearance. When a tooth is missing, the adjacent teeth will begin to shift into the gap; this creates more spaces and thus leads to more teeth moving out of place. Over time, your overall bite alignment could be affected, making it harder – and sometimes painful – to chew. You may not be able to enjoy the foods you love as much as you used to.
Misaligned teeth can also present challenges while brushing and flossing; there’ll be places in your mouth you won’t be able to reach as easily anymore, leading to plaque buildup and eventual tooth decay. The changes in your mouth can also irritate and damage your gums, leading to gingivitis; if not treated, gingivitis can become periodontitis. All of these oral health issues can eventually result in losing more teeth.
Worse yet, poor oral health can lead to poor overall health. Infected gums can give bacteria a chance to enter the bloodstream and cause damage in other parts of the body. This could increase your risk of heart disease and other severe health issues; it can also exacerbate existing problems such as diabetes.
Finally, without the stimulation normally provided by the tooth, your jawbone will begin to weaken and deteriorate, greatly affecting your facial structure.
How Can Dental Implants Protect My Overall Health?
Dental implants – titanium posts topped with a crown or other restoration – join with the jawbone through a process called osseointegration. Because it’s held firmly in place, it won’t slip like traditional dentures; it also doesn’t require changes to the enamel of adjacent teeth.
With an implant and a well-designed crown, your remaining natural teeth will stay in place; you’ll be able to brush and chew as you normally would, allowing you to maintain good oral hygiene and nutrition. Moreover, because dental implants can mimic the stimulation of chewing, they can prevent bone loss in the jaw, making it easier to maintain an overall youthful appearance in your face; other forms of tooth replacement can’t provide this benefit.
Of course, not all patients are good candidates for an implant procedure. Too much bone loss can prevent osseointegration from occurring as it should; poor oral health habits such as smoking can disrupt the healing process. If you do think implants would be a good solution for your missing teeth, schedule a consultation with your dentist in Flagstaff right away; they’ll help you pick the smile restoration option that’s right for you.
About the Practice
At Flagstaff Downtown Dental, Drs. John Bacon and Benjamin Stowell make it their priority to give each individual patient excellent personalized care. They offer high-quality restorations for patients who receive dental implants; each crown is designed by a high quality artistic dental lab. To schedule an appointment, visit their website or call (928) 774-1168.