Teeth are living creatures that respond to their environment. The mouth is therefore an organic setting on which many functions take place and teeth interact with each other. They vibrate, they move and they respond to stimulus like temperature and pressure. Whenever one tooth is missing, the rest respond by trying to make up for the loss of this tooth, so they tend to shift positions. Now, imagine if there are many missing teeth. Those teeth remaining must assume the “workload” of all those missing. For this reason, they might start to chip, break or become loose. On the other hand, the mandibular and maxillary bone’s primary function is to hold these teeth in place. Whenever there is a missing tooth, the bone in that area gets reabsorbed by the body and shrinks. If the missing teeth are on the upper molars, then also the sinus cavity becomes enlarged as the bone shrinks. This happens over time if the missing teeth are not promptly replaced.
There are three ways to replace missing teeth. The quickest and cheapest is to get a removable partial, but these are unpopular because removable devices can fall out, break or be difficult to get used to.
The second option is to get a fixed bridge if the missing tooth has two adjacent teeth. Bridges can be made out of full zirconia, they look good, and they have good success rates if done properly. The downside of this is that oftentimes, dentists must grind down healthy teeth to support the pontic that replaces the missing tooth.
The best way to replace missing teeth is with a dental implant because they look, feel and work much like natural teeth. Implants are surgically placed into your bone and act as tooth roots to support a crown. Implants are placed in two stages. This is because after the implant is placed, bone cells grow around it and harden, securing it in place. Only after this process (called osseointegration) is completed can we restore with the permanent crown. If done otherwise, the pressures caused by chewing could prevent integration and lead to implant failure. The second stage occurs 3-5 months after the implant was placed and consists on uncovering the implant, installing an abutment and cementing a crown over this abutment. The downside of implants is that they tend to cost more but in the long run they can be better investments. Implants act as a tooth root, which preserves the bone level and prevents the bone from shrinking. Also, replacing the tooth individually means other teeth will not be ground down if they are healthy. This will also restore the balance of each tooth-supporting its own part in the masticating forces.
At our dental clinic, we use the 2-step process to place implant as we believe this is the safest way to do it. We also use American implant brands so that if emergency work is needed at home dentists might easily get the necessary material to solve the problem. We also use full-porcelain crowns that are completely metal-free and have an incredible 10-year warranty. We would be very excited to get to know your case, guide you to solve all your dental needs, and give you a beautiful smile. Please contact us to get a free quote and get the process started!