Losing a tooth can be a very traumatic experience. Not only does it affect the way you look, but it can also make it difficult to eat and speak properly. Thankfully, there are now a number of options for tooth replacement that are both effective and affordable. This article will explore some of those options so that you can make an informed decision about which one is right for you.
Impact of Tooth Loss on People
Tooth loss can have a significant impact on a person’s life. For one, it can cause people to feel self-conscious about their appearance. This is particularly so when the lost tooth is in a location that can immediately be seen. The person will tend to refrain from opening the mouth wide, affecting the ability to smile and laugh freely. Even if lost teeth are not immediately visible, losing several can cause a change in the facial structure.
When you lose teeth, it can be difficult to chew food properly. This can lead to digestive problems and weight loss. Missing teeth can also lead to speech problems. This can be a particular problem for those who have lost their front teeth.
A study has shown that tooth loss can lead to depression in some cases. The level of depression is directly proportional to the number of teeth lost. The loss of ten teeth or more can cause a state that is akin to having an untreated major depressive disorder.
Because of the many implications of tooth loss, many people resist tooth extraction even when it is necessary. They run the risk of infection and other complications by retaining a diseased tooth. Complications from not extracting a diseased tooth include pain, difficulty eating, and an inability to properly clean the teeth. All of these can lead to further tooth loss.
There are several options for tooth replacement after tooth extraction or any other cause of tooth loss, though.
The most common and older form of tooth replacement is the use of dentures. These are false teeth that are fitted over the gums. They can be removed and put back in at will. Dentures are usually made of porcelain or plastic. They can be either partial or full.
Partial dentures are used when some teeth remain in the mouth while others are absent. They usually consist of a metal framework that attaches to the natural teeth. The false teeth are then attached to the framework. These metals can be visible when you smile or talk, which some people may find unsightly.
Full dentures are used when all the teeth are absent. They fit over the gums and are usually held in place by suction. The false teeth are attached to a pink plastic base that resembles gum tissue. Full dentures can be uncomfortable to wear at first because they take some time to get used to. They may also slip out of place when you speak, laugh or cough.
Traditional Dental Implants
A popular option for tooth replacement is the traditional dental implant. Dental implants are permanent tooth replacements. Many people prefer them over dentures because they function like natural teeth and do not have any effect on eating or speaking. They also look like natural teeth. Dental implants can be used to support a single tooth, a bridge, or even a full set of replacement teeth.
Traditional dental implants do not provide immediate tooth replacement, though. The process takes several months. First, a titanium post is implanted into the jawbone. Then, the bone and implant need to be allowed to fuse together, a process that can take several months. During that time, there is a space where the lost tooth was. Once the fusion with the bone is complete, the titanium post provides a strong and stable foundation for artificial teeth. The artificial tooth can then be attached to the implant.
Same Day Dental Implants
The development of same day dental implants allows people to have the look of a replacement tooth immediately after the surgery implanting the titanium post. This can also be done on the same visit as the tooth extraction. That is why this is becoming the more popular tooth replacement option.
The tooth crown attached to the titanium post immediately after surgery is not permanent, though. It is made of a material that will eventually break down and need to be replaced. Once the implant has fused with the jawbone, the dentist will put in the permanent replacement tooth. A major advantage of this tooth replacement option is that it does not require a second surgery to attach the permanent tooth. It also eliminates the waiting period for the patient to have the look of a complete set of teeth.
The dentist will check first if you are a good candidate for same day implants. Factors that will be considered include the type of tooth to be replaced, the health of your gums, and whether you have enough bone to support the implant.
Replace Missing Teeth
No one wants to lose their teeth, but when it happens, there are several options for tooth replacement. Dentures are the most common and oldest form of tooth replacement, though they can be uncomfortable and unsightly. Traditional dental implants are a popular option because they look and feel like natural teeth and do not require any alteration to your eating or speaking. However, the process takes several months. Same day dental implants are becoming more popular because they provide immediate tooth replacement and do not require a second surgery to attach the permanent tooth. Your dentist will be able to help you decide which option is best for you.