Often this is the first question patients ask themselves – do I bother replacing my missing teeth? Are dental implants even necessary? Before deciding, you need to know the importance of not having a tooth or missing many teeth – and the issues caused by not having them replaced.
The physical space created by your missing teeth in your mouth creates its own issues. Missing teeth affect the structure of your jaw, with the teeth adjacent to the missing tooth trying to fill in the gap by shifting to accommodate for the loss of the tooth. This shift can have a domino effect, as your teeth move and start to come out of alignment, your bite changes. With your teeth crooked you may find it harder to eat and chew as you once did and as your jaw shifts over time.
When you lose some or all your teeth, you also lose your tooth root which is vital for stimulating your jawbone. Stimulation keeps your jawbones strong; without this stimulation the bone starts to resorb or disintegrate. Eventually, the bone resorption can become quite noticeable. The individual’s lower face and mouth starting to collapse in and droop, changing the external look of their face. You will then look much older and frailer than you may be, with poor soft cheek and lip support, changes in facial symmetry and proportions. Jawbone resorption is quite common amongst users of traditional dentures.
You might seem to lose your confidence if you have missing teeth, and for your own mental health, this may be a reason enough for you to consider dental implants. Missing teeth can affect your daily mental health in more ways than you may realise; such as covering your mouth when talking with customers or co-workers, using your long hair to cover your face/mouth, avoiding taking photos with friends or family, you may lisp your words, start holding back from laughing or opening your mouth in front of others, amd stop accepting invitations to go out in public for meals or social events for the feeling of being self-conscious.
Not only have you spent time mentally preparing yourself to socialise, but when you look at the menu, a familiar sense of dread washes over as you realise there is nothing you can eat.
Eating and chewing a complete range of foods becomes more difficult with missing teeth and more nutritious, healthy foods start to leave your diet, such as fruits, vegetables, and meats – leaving you with soft, mushy styled foods that do not require a lot of chewing and lack the full impact of the vitamins and minerals of a healthy diet. If you can’t eat properly and cannot give your body the nutrients that it requires, you may continuously feel weak, unwell, and more prone to sickness due to your poor immunity.
Risking Your ‘Healthy’ Teeth
Often people with missing teeth or poor dental health typically avoid the dentist. Regular dental visits are to keep your mouth healthy, and scheduled dental check-ups are your best protection in keeping the teeth you have.
If food and bacteria accumulate around your teeth and these build ups are not timely removed, they can lead to nasty infections, which if left can create further problems. Regular dental visits also check for cavities, plaque build-up and tartar on your remaining teeth. The build-up of plaque leads to tartar, which also can cause oral diseases if not prompted treated.
Initially mouth infections and diseases are commonly pain-free, and patients are not aware of the damage the broken-down teeth are doing to their mouth, the surrounding bones and overall system.
Next Steps on Replacing Missing Teeth
So with this in mind and to avoid this happening to you, by replacing your missing teeth, your first step should be to have a complimentary dental implant consultation with our Dental Specialist, Dr Michael Zaninovich. Dr Zaninovich can give you a range of affordable options, and help you layout what may be your next steps, such as considering a fixed or removable dental implant option.
Who is a Candidate for Dental Implants?
Almost every patient is a candidate for the implant procedure. During your initial consultation, we will assess the current state of your oral health (looking for signs of periodontal disease and jawbone deterioration), your medical history (making special note of diabetes, respiratory disease, heart disease and bleeding tendencies that may increase the surgical risks) and age-related diseases, such as osteoporosis. Advanced age itself is not considered a problem. Patients in their nineties have undergone the procedure and received beautiful new teeth.
Why Choose Dental Implants?
Dental Implant Benefits Include:
- Improved appearance
- Improved speech
- Improved self-esteem
- Natural-looking teeth and gums
- The freedom to eat what you like
- The confidence to laugh
- Teeth that do not move or come out
- The elimination of denture sore spots
- Long term tooth support
- Simulates your jawbone and prevents bone resorption