Can Dental Implants Replace Your Lost Teeth?
- January 16, 2016
When we cut our hair, it grows back. When we trim our fingernails, they grow back.
Wouldn’t it be great if our teeth grew back when they fell out?
Dental researchers are studying how some other animals are able to replace their teeth. We may not figure out a way for humans to do that, but we can turn to the next best thing — dental implants.
Don’t get us wrong, the Total Dental Care of South Carolina team wants all our patients in and around Columbia to keep as many of their teeth as long as they can.
But if you or someone you know does need to replace a tooth or teeth, then dental implants are as close as you can getting your natural teeth back.
A Common Problem
In the United States, the average person between the ages of 20 and 64 has three or more teeth that are missing or are decayed. Missing just one tooth can start causing problems, however.
Lost teeth can have a big impact on patients from a psychological perspective. If you have lost a tooth, you may become embarrassed or ashamed.
You could feel the need to hide your teeth from others. This could start with something like making sure your lips are pressed together any time someone takes your picture.
This can lead to an escalating pattern of unusual behavior. Some people will start to cover their mouths with their hands while they talk. These people also may hold a napkin over their mouths the entire time they are eating.
If you are worried about someone noticing your missing teeth, then they are probably noticing how much effort you are making to hide your teeth, too.
In the worst-case scenarios, some people with become socially withdrawn. This may start when someone avoids meeting new people, but it can grow to a point in which he or she even stays away from face-to-face contact with family and friends.
That’s not good for that person or for the people they love.
Of course, missing a tooth or teeth also affects you in a real, tangible way.
Eating can become more difficult if you are missing teeth or you have teeth that are decayed. Either of these problems can make it difficult to bite into and chew certain foods.
It may be more difficult to bite into hard foods like nuts or crunchy foods like carrots and apples. Other foods like steak or chicken may become difficult to chew.
Missing a tooth can affect how you talk, too.
We know Christmas is over, but you have probably heard the song, “All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth.” This is usually sung by a child who has lost his or her baby teeth, and part of the appeal of the song is how the missing teeth change how he or she pronounces the words.
If you are an adult, you may have the same issue. The difference is that your teeth are not coming back.
Last, but not least, when you lose a tooth, it can lead to bone loss in your jaw. If you don’t replace that tooth, the bone loss can affect the teeth on either side of your gap. With time, you could lose those teeth, too, and the bone loss will keep getting worse.
How Dental Implants Can Help
To understand why dental implants are such a good replacement option, you need to understand what they are and how they are placed.
Dental implants take the place of the roots of your missing teeth. In the case of a decayed tooth, that tooth may need to be removed. The root is the anchor of your tooth, and dental implants serve as anchors for dental crowns, bridges, or dentures.
During your procedure, the implant is placed into your jaw bone. As your bone heals, it will bond to the implant. The implant also provides stimulation that encourages new bone growth. This keeps the bone healthy and strong, too.
When your dental crown, bridge, or dentures are attached to your dental implant, you will have the appearance of a full set of healthy teeth. Just as important, this gives you the same function as real teeth, too.
Dental implants will improve your smile, help you pronounce words, and allow you to eat anything that you want to eat.
Where To Get Dental Implants
This one is easy. If you live in or near Columbia, you just need to visit our dentist office — Total Dental Care of South Carolina.
We can place your dental implants, along with a dental crowns, bridges, or dentures depending on whether you need to replace one tooth, multiple teeth, or a full arch of teeth.