Tooth loss can occur as a result of many factors, from accidents and injury to disease and infection so it’s worth knowing the implications and solutions. It may be tempting, if positioned out of sight to leave a missing tooth untreated but it’s certainly not wise. The most important consideration is one’s health and ignoring treatment can cause a plethora of issues in the long run, both inside the mouth and beyond.
Dental implants are the most common solution and have an incredibly high success rate. The procedure is not as complicated as many think it is and involves a metal post being fixed to the jawbone, which is then covered with a crown or denture. This can be a titanium or a ceramic dental implants, and from start to finish, the process generally takes around three months, with the bulk of that time for healing before the crown or denture is fitted. It’s not uncommon to have the implant and a temporary crown fitted in the same procedure which allows one to continue with life until the permanent fixture is ready to be fitted, and of course minimises time in the dentist chair. The result of implants are natural looking replacements that feel just the same as the lost teeth.
What happens if left untreated?
Dental implants don’t come cheaply but will certainly pay off over time by preventing other problems. Fortunately, finance plans are widely available these days and allow smiles to be restored with breaking the bank.
Left untreated, the teeth surrounding the gap begin shifting toward one another, causing them to lose alignment. Overbites, cross bites, difficulty chewing food and tooth decay then become more likely which will be far more expensive than the initial implant.
The other notable consequence is that knowingly or unknowingly, we begin to compensate for missing teeth by chewing differently. Much like our muscles, the jaw bone is strengthened with exercise and becomes weaker with inactivity which can lead to bone loss and a sagging appearance, often seen when someone removes their dentures. Added to that, ineffective chewing affects digestion and absorption of food, and can quickly lead to reflux, indigestion and malnutrition.
Besides the physical consequences, which should be reason enough to seek treatment, there are also psychological consequences of forgoing treatment. Added to that, for better or for worse, we live in an image conscious society and the perceptions of intelligence, wealth and class are often subconsciously linked to appearance. The face and smile are one of the first things we notice in others and the stigma attached to missing teeth can be unpleasant to live with and destroy self-esteem. Ceramic dental implants offer a solution indistinguishable from real teeth and are often the primary choice for those needing replacements.
Tooth replacements are no longer the intimidating procedure that they once were, and are always a good investment of time and money. Its best to book a consultation with an experienced and skilled dental professional to discuss the most suitable treatment options. Everybody deserves to be comfortable and confident sharing their beautiful smile with the world and, in many instances, dental implants make that possible.