At Charles F. Betts, Jr. D.M.D Family Dentistry in Decatur, AL, we know a thing or two about replacing missing teeth. We know that for many people dental implant restorations are the preferred choice.
Barring accidents and with regular dental care, teeth should last a lifetime. Nevertheless, by one estimate there are over 120 million people in the United States who are missing at least one tooth.
The fact is that teeth go missing for any number of reasons. When that happens, the question is, “What’s the best way to replace them?” Missing teeth should be replaced as soon as possible, and here’s why.
Your Jaw Needs Your Teeth
Strong, healthy teeth are essential for a number of reasons. The first, and most obvious, is so that we can eat a wide variety of healthy foods and chew our food thoroughly.
Another and less obvious reason is that the roots of the teeth are implanted deeply into the jawbone. When we chew, the pressure of chewing is transferred to the bone and stimulates it. The underlying bone remains healthy.
When a tooth is lost, the stimulation of chewing is lost in that spot. The bone begins to deteriorate. When the loss of bone is pronounced enough, it can affect the shape of your face on that side. That part of the face can begin to sink in, making you look older than you are. This is particularly true if a number of teeth on one side are missing.
Finally, missing one or more teeth on one side leads to chewing more on the other side. This imbalance in chewing can cause excess wear on teeth, muscle strain, and headaches.
Teeth Replacement Options
When most people think of replacing a missing tooth, they think of a dental bridge. Dental bridges are tried and true dental technology with a long track record of successful use. For some people, a dental bridge will serve just fine to allow them to eat comfortably and smile confidently.
However, dental bridges don’t transfer the pressure of chewing nearly as well as a natural tooth does. There’s no “root” with a dental bridge; the pressure is transferred to the neighboring teeth that secure the bridge in place. The bone beneath the replacement crowns will continue to deteriorate.
Enter Dental Implants
It might seem that dental implants are the “new kids on the block,” but the fact is that they’ve been around for thousands of years. Of course, our distant ancestors didn’t have access to the high-tech and incredibly durable materials that dentists have today.
A dental implant essentially consists of the implant itself and the restoration. Dental implants are made of a bio-compatible metal like titanium. The implant is inserted into the jaw. The bone closes around and fuses to the implant, anchoring it very firmly.
The second part of a dental implant, the restoration, is what allows you to chew comfortably, smile broadly, and laugh without embarrassment. At Charles F. Betts, Jr. D.M.D Family Dentistry in Decatur, AL, Dr. Betts creates implant restorations to replace bridges, partials, dentures, or a single missing tooth.
Dental implant restorations look, feel, and function just like your natural teeth. And since they’re firmly attached to the implant, which has basically become a part of your jaw, implant restorations don’t move, wiggle, or slip.
With care, dental implants can last a lifetime, making them a very attractive long-term option to replace one or more missing teeth.
Get Started With Dental Implants
The first step to determine whether dental implants will work for you is to schedule a consultation with Dr. Betts. Call our office at 256-274-8680 or use our convenient online form to ask any questions you may have or to schedule your consultation.
Dr. Betts will perform a thorough examination to ensure that dental implant restorations are the right choice for you. If so, he’ll refer you to a oral surgeon. Once your healing from the procedure is complete, Dr. Betts will design and place your dental implant restoration.
Don’t Live With Missing Teeth!
Get back to chewing on both sides, eating the foods you love, and smiling freely. Contact Charles F. Betts, Jr. D.M.D Family Dentistry today at 256-274-8680 to schedule your consultation.