Before we get into the importance of replacing teeth, let’s address the most common question first: what exactly is a dental implant anyway? A dental implant is a tiny, but extremely strong, titanium alloy screw which is used while surgically replacing damaged or missing natural teeth. It is placed in the jawbone, so that the screw can firmly connect the artificial teeth or any other dental prosthesis to the jaw.
In addition to its use in replacing broken/missing teeth, implants can also be used to provide support to loose, removable dentures. Now that you know what a dental implant is exactly, let’s take a look at why replacing lost or badly damaged teeth is important in the first place.
Even a single missing tooth can put a lot of emotional stress on us. In varying degrees, we are all somewhat concerned about our appearance, and it affects our confidence as well. To lose your perfect smile because of a missing tooth or two can cause depression and loss of confidence, which in turn may affect your work and personal life. It has been found that dental implants are often effective in boosting the patient’s morale and overall confidence. Since there is no externally visible difference between a replaced tooth and a natural one after the procedure, it does actually affect physical appearance positively.
As soon as a tooth is lost, the balance in your entire dental structure is disturbed. The created gap allows for the remaining teeth (especially the ones nearest to the gap) to tilt and shift as a result of even the most normal regular chewing. This could lead to further oral problems down the line, especially if the distorted structure of the teeth interferes with the patient’s chewing abilities. It isn’t uncommon to see someone lose multiple teeth over the years as a result of this and more often than not, the bone loss occurs in the same row, side by side.
If you have all your teeth intact, then you probably don’t have any idea how it feels when a particularly hard piece of food comes in-between the exposed root of the missing molar and an existing one.
Let’s just say that it isn’t a very comfortable experience and once that keeps happening almost every time you try to eat, it’s not rare to see people giving up on meat and other previously loved food sources to alleviate themselves from the continuous pain and discomfort. In a way, losing your ability to properly chew food can potentially stop you from enjoying a very big part of your life.
Dental prosthesis with the proper dental implant to support it, can dramatically change the life of someone who is missing teeth. A lot depends on the skill of the dentist/dentists involved and it is not a complex surgical procedure anymore. The good news is that dental implants have a success rate over 97%.