Tooth loss and dental implants

A Dentist With Her Patient

Losing a tooth or teeth can be a traumatic experience. It could be the result of an accident or a dental health issue. Our teeth can fail for any number of reasons. Whatever the cause of your tooth loss, you’ll probably want to find a way to restore their function and appearance. Missing teeth can make eating some foods more difficult, your remaining teeth may start to move, and your jawbone will start to disappear where the tooth or teeth have been lost.

Not only can missing teeth affect your long-term oral health, lost teeth can also affect how you feel about yourself and how you interact with other people. If you work in a professional environment, or with members of the public, the appearance of your teeth may be of considerable importance. Dentures or bridges are the most frequently used method to replace teeth, but now dental implants are becoming more and more popular with adults of all ages. You will find that most dentists including those at Moor Park Dental in London have come to regard dental implants as the most satisfactory long-term method for replacing missing teeth.

Mind the gap

When a tooth is lost, the area of the jawbone where it grew will start to shrink. This may cause the teeth on either side of the gap to begin to move. In addition the opposing tooth in the opposite jaw may also start to become looser as it is no longer receiving the stimulation from biting and chewing needed to keep it healthy. As if that is not bad enough, the loss of support by the tooth and the jaw results in the collapse of the facial muscles, leading to the sunken look that we associate with elderly people.

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Dental implants help prevent these problems because they replicate the function of the original tooth. The titanium implant that is fitted into the jawbone becomes integrated with the living bone of the jaw. Once it is fully healed, the implant and the attached crown or bridge is affected by the biting force as you eat. This is what stimulates the continued growth of the jawbone in the same way that a normal tooth does.