Most people don’t get too worked up about losing just one tooth. Maybe it gets knocked out during a contact sport or in an accident. Maybe it has become infected or is so badly decayed that the dentist has to extract it. Maybe it falls out because of gum disease. However it is lost, dental implants are an excellent way to replace natural teeth.
Even if it’s just one tooth, an implant can make the world of long-term difference to the shape and structure of your face. Implant dentists, such as those at Enhancedental in Leeds will be able to give you a detailed explanation as to why, but let’s take a look at the basics here.
Small Is Not Always Beautiful
What you need is a strong, healthy jawbone. But, when you lose a tooth, even just one, very quickly the bone where that tooth used to be starts to melt away. It reduces in density, width and height, the gums in the gap start to recede, possibly causing other teeth nearby to become looser, and maybe even start to tip into the gap.
So many consequences from just one lost tooth affect the shape of the face. There is reduced distance between the chin and the tip of the nose. The cheeks start to sag, the mouth begins to cave inwards, and the poor face-owner starts to look older than they actually are.
Dental implants do away with the comedy sketch gurning look associated with dentures, but actually caused by missing tooth roots. The jawbone needs the constant stimulation of our teeth clacking together to renew itself.
Dental implants are made of titanium, a metal that it stimulates bone tissue to grow and then fuses with it. The implants take a few months to fuse with the jawbone, but once they have the dentist puts an internal screw, called an abutment, into the implant. They can then attach a single artificial tooth crown to this, or a bridge of several teeth, or, indeed, an entire set of upper or lower teeth – the latter usually involves several implants, often four to six. These teeth are custom-made to be indistinguishable from your natural teeth and should last a lifetime.