When you need to replace a missing tooth, it’s important to consider how the remaining teeth in the smile may be affected by the treatment option. If you want to take steps to preserve your biological teeth, you should consider dental implants as a potential tooth replacement.
Dental implants have minimal impact on the adjacent teeth that remain in the smile. The titanium used in the implants is biocompatible, so the bone can adhere to it. The process of osseointegration, which takes place over several months after the oral surgeon places the dental implant in the jaw, ultimately renders the implant as a pseudoroot. This root-like structure allows a dental implant to stand alone, in contrast to fixed dental bridges, which require the placement of dental crowns on surrounding teeth to support the pontic (prosthetic tooth).
That process of getting dental crowns necessitates the removal of some enamel in order to make room for the crown. As such, the natural tooth may be weakened as a result and may be more susceptible to damage. Patients who work with an oral surgeon to get dental implants are able to preserve the integrity of their natural teeth.
If you opt not to replace the absent tooth at all, the rest of your smile may suffer, too. The other teeth will shift to fill in the gap. In the process, they can be subjected to unusual forces that can damage them or the resulting misalignment can put additional pressure on those teeth.
The process of getting a dental implant doesn’t need to be too disruptive to your routine, either. Although it does require a surgical procedure, the oral surgeon can place a dental implant in a single appointment and patients are usually able to resume normal work or school related activities in a few days.
To protect the health of your remaining natural teeth following tooth loss, you should investigate dental implants as a treatment option. Visit our team at Commonwealth Oral & Facial Surgery for an evaluation and to learn more about dental implants.