If you lose a tooth through accident, illness or decay, it can have a devastating effect upon your smile. No matter how clean, white and straight the rest of your teeth are, the gap caused by the missing tooth is all that anyone is going to be noticing whenever you smile or speak, and the impact of this upon your self-confidence could be devastating. On top of this, a gap in your smile places the rest of your teeth at risk – the teeth on either side are more vulnerable to decay, and all of your teeth might, over time, begin to shift in an attempt to fill the gap. This movement can actually alter the basic shape of your face, and all because of one simple missing tooth.
A modern dental technician will be able to offer a range of options for filling the gap, but a dental tooth implant is by far the most effective. The reasons for this are, first and foremost, that an implant replaces both the root of the tooth – the part which is imbedded in your jaw bone out of view – and the crown of the tooth – the visible part which you flash when you smile. An implant replaces both of these aspects in a manner which is permanent and natural looking and which, if looked after properly, will last just as long as your natural teeth.
The first stage of the treatment is for a small titanium pin to be screwed into your jaw bone where the tooth is missing. Over a period of months, this pin will actually ‘grow into’ the bone itself, becoming a permanent part of your body. This is a process known as osseointegration and it ensures a solid and durable anchor for the crown. Whilst this is happening, your dentist may provide a temporary crown to tide you over, but once the pin is attached, a permanent false crown, custom made to be a perfect and natural looking match, will be cemented onto it.
The advantages of dental implants are that they offer a permanent solution which also helps to protect the bone of the jaw whilst giving you your smile and your confidence back. After a very short while you’ll forget that the implant is even there, and be free to eat, drink and talk as if you’d never even had a problem. Unlike dentures and some other treatments, implants will not place any restrictions upon the food you can eat and drink. Nothing is too hard, tough, fibrous or solid for an implant to deal with thanks to the way in which they are completely anchored to the jaw. For too long, people felt that a missing tooth had to be worked round, or could only be replaced with removable dentures which sat in a glass on the bedside table and got in the way of eating and speaking. Implants offer a solution which is convenient, permanently fixed in place and completely natural looking.