Do you ever find yourself covering your mouth or avoiding others for fear of showing your missing teeth? You’re not alone. Around 35 million people worldwide are missing teeth in either or both the upper and lower jaw and for many of these individuals, living without teeth is impacting more than just the appearance of their smile.
The hidden consequences of missing teeth
Missing teeth can have obvious consequences on the aesthetic of your smile. However, it’s the additional social and physical impact of tooth loss that is often underestimated. With Christmas approaching, now more than ever individuals are realising the wider impact of missing teeth. Perhaps you’re unable to eat your favourite festive foods, or maybe you hide your mouth whilst talking to loved ones.The truth is, living without teeth can take a real toll on your self-confidence and your ability to socialise with others, as well as on your physical ability to enjoy certain foods. And the consequences don’t stop there.
Whilst tooth loss can reduce your chewing capacity, missing teeth also have a huge impact on your facial aesthetic. Many people don’t know this, but tooth loss can actually lead to bone loss. This is because your jawbone serves the function of supporting your teeth; without the stimulation from your natural teeth, the jawbone begins to dissolve away over time, leading to changes in your facial structure. This is why many people with missing teeth have sunken facial features and take on a prematurely aged look. The good news is there are ways these consequences can be avoided.
Dental implants: restoring your natural smile
Whilst there are numerous tooth replacement options out there for individuals with missing teeth, dental implants are fast becoming a solution of choice for patients and dentists alike due to their aesthetic and functional benefits. Unlike removable alternatives such as dentures, dental implants offer a permanent and more stable tooth replacement option for individuals who are missing single or multiple teeth. So how do they work?
Unlike dentures, dental implants are attached to the jawbone via a metal post that has the unique ability to fuse to the surrounding bone, much like a natural tooth root. This creates a stable base for the artificial tooth that is attached to the implant later on in the dental procedure. Aside from offering aesthetic benefits (no more acrylic gums), dental implants are designed to feel and function more like your natural teeth. Due to their increased stability, individuals with implants can eat, speak and smile just like they used to…and without restrictions on what they can eat. Most importantly, dental implants are the only tooth replacement option that can actually halt bone loss by providing the jawbone with the stimulation it needs for growth, so you’re investing in more than just a healthier smile.