If you’ve lost a tooth and that loss hasn’t caused you any pain or discomfort, it might not seem as though you need to visit your dentist at all—especially if your missing tooth isn’t noticeable. However, a missing permanent tooth will undermine your dental health over time if not treated.
Receiving a dental implant isn’t just about repairing a smile or improving the way you look, although implants can be a great self-esteem boost in that regard. More importantly, dental implants can be essential to good dental health!
Whether you’ve lost a tooth days or even years ago, it’s important to talk to your dentist about it! Getting an implant to fill the hole left by a missing tooth can make a huge positive difference to your teeth, jaws, and gums all at once.
Dental Implants Keep Your Jawbone Strong and Healthy
When a permanent tooth is lost and not replaced, the jawbone underneath that missing tooth is affected. Without a tooth anchored to it, the bone begins to gradually wear away from lack of use.
This bone degradation can add up over time. If the jawbone continues to wear away, it can increase your risk of losing other teeth, and will make any future dental procedures or surgeries that much more difficult.
Not only does a missing tooth weaken the bone beneath it and lead to potential health complications, but the loss of jawbone can alter the shape of your face and make you look older than you are.
Replacing a missing tooth with an implant will stop that degradation almost immediately, and the jaw bone will be able to rebuild itself around that implant until it’s strong again!
Dental Implants Keep Neighboring Teeth Secure
If a missing tooth has caused a gap between your teeth, the teeth on either side of the gap will often begin to drift in to fill that open space. The process may be slow, but it can cause a lot of damage if left unchecked.
Drifting teeth will change the way your teeth connect when you bite down. This can lead to an uneven bite, jaw pain, and more intensive orthodontic procedures to correct the problem in the future.
An uneven bite can be a leading contributor to problems with the temporomandibular joint, which can cause a lot of pain and headaches. All this may be difficult to fix—but your missing tooth is not. With a dental implant in place, neighboring teeth will stay securely in place and you can count on your bite to stay unchanged.
Dental Implants Prevent Plaque and Bacteria Buildup
A missing tooth leaves a small, empty pocket behind in the gums. Unfortunately, it’s easy for bacteria to build up in this space, and it can be difficult to clean that bacteria out.
Because there’s no tooth to brush or floss around, empty spaces often don’t get the cleaning they need, which allows bacteria to build up. This bacteria can spread to the gums or neighboring teeth, and can be a contributing factor in gum disease.
Having a complete set of teeth makes it easier to keep your mouth clean and healthy, and an implant doesn’t require any more care than a natural tooth!
Dental Implants Are More Than Just Aesthetic.
Dental implants are a great way to restore the appearance of your smile and to boost your self-confidence, but they’re more than that! With dental implants, you can maintain your jaw health, keep your bite correct, and more easily take control of your dental hygiene.
Contact us today to learn more about how a dental implant could benefit you, or to make an appointment!