Dental implants are becoming a popular way to replace lost teeth, but it is not just people who are tired of dentures who benefit from tooth replacements. If you are missing even one tooth, a single tooth implant can make a big difference in your smile and overall health.
Every Tooth Counts
Implant dentists point out that several things can happen when you have a missing tooth.
• Adjacent teeth drift out of position, into the gap
• Teeth become misaligned with opposing teeth
• Your bite is "off" and can lead to temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ)
• Teeth can wear down, chip or break when opposing teeth are misaligned
• Bone can deteriorate
• Your smile is less attractive
Restore with an Implant
Dental bridges have served as excellent restorations for missing teeth, but as any implant dentist can demonstrate, dental implants are far superior and it is really no contest as to which is preferable. A replacement tooth is anchored permanently to a screw or plate implanted within or on your jawbone. This implant becomes fused to the bone, and is as secure as a natural tooth.
A dental bridge is either clamped to adjacent teeth or secured with a crown. Anchoring a bridge with a dental crown requires destruction of healthy tooth material on the adjacent tooth in preparation to receive the crown.
A single tooth implant gives you the best of all restoration worlds. It allows you to bite and chew as you would with a natural tooth. It holds neighboring teeth in their proper place. It can be shaped to match the opposing tooth, and colored to match your natural teeth. It is a perfect cosmetic restoration and no one will know you have lost a tooth.
Compared to a dental bridge, a single tooth implant does not need to be taken out to be cleaned. You care for it as you would your natural teeth. It does not collect food underneath it or around any brackets because there are no places for food to collect that differ from any other tooth. It cannot get lost, stepped on or dropped down a drain because it never leaves your mouth. You simply brush and floss according to your implant dentist's recommended dental hygiene routine.
As long as you are in good health, a non-smoker, and meet a few other criteria, you should be a good candidate for a single tooth implant. If you have avoided getting a dental bridge, or are just tired of dealing with your existing bridge work, look into a single tooth implant today.