Nowadays however, as dentistry has advanced we have gained a better understanding of the debilitating long-term effects a missing tooth can present.
Whilst a missing tooth at the back of your mouth may have seemed like a fair trade-off for pain relief, it generally causes cascading problems down the track…
The surrounding teeth lose the support of the missing tooth and start to shift and move over time. This can be seen with teeth above the missing tooth beginning to fall down in to the space, exposing their roots and becoming loose or unstable. Similarly, teeth to the sides of the missing tooth begin to tilt towards the gap, causing misaligned teeth and an irregular bite.
As the surrounding teeth encroach, the bone and gum underneath where that tooth used to be also begin to shrink and diminish over time. This can greatly effect your options when it comes to replacing that tooth down the track with a dental implant…
A dental implant is a procedure where a titanium rod is fused to the jawbone in place of a missing tooth, which then acts as a permanent root to which porcelain crowns resembling natural teeth can be attached.
By actually integrating with your jawbone in a process called “osseointegration,” a dental implant substitutes for a natural tooth, preventing the deterioration of gum and bone around an extraction zone, whilst maintaining the important facial structure and support provided by your teeth.
Unfortunately, as mentioned earlier – in situations where a tooth has been missing for a number of years, the bone-loss may have advanced to the point where fusing the titanium dental implant in place of the former tooth may now be impossible.
Important to remember: the sooner that a dental implant can be placed after a tooth’s extraction, the greater the likelihood of sufficient bone quality and quantity… and thus, the eligibility for dental implants is dependent on time.
Considering dental implants…?
Dental Implant Advantages
A fixed solution: dental implants don’t need to be taken out at night like plates or dentures
- Longevity: a successful implant itself last a lifetime, and the tooth (porcelain crown) attached: 15 – 20 years
- Appearance: dental implants look exactly like a regular tooth helping you smile with complete confidence
- Functionality: dental implants also function exactly like a regular tooth, not impacting chewing or taste in any way
Dental Implant Disadvantages
- Cost: dental implant can cost anywhere between $5000 – $6500 per tooth
- Eligibility: the main issue with dental implants is – not everyone is eligible, and the operation is highly dependent on both quality and quantity of bone underneath.
- Complications: as with any surgery, there are always possible complications that can arise, with dental implants no exception
Bone eligibility for dental implants is determined by a 3D bone scan and oral exam – after which if dental implants are not advised, or deemed impossible, alternative solutions like bridges or partial/full dentures can be considered.
At Advanced Dental Artistry, we want every person considering dental implants to understand the case sensitive nature of the procedure, which is why we offer a complimentary first consultation regarding dental implants.
Take advantage of this opportunity to come in and discuss your eligibility regarding dental implants, or potential alternatives options, with our friendly and knowledgeable team.
DISCLAIMER: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.