If you're missing a tooth or several teeth, there are lots of options. With a single missing tooth, you can opt to leave the space empty, or if you're missing several teeth in the same arch, you can opt for a removable partial denture. Aside from those two options, you can also choose an implant.
Here's a look at some of the top reasons you should consider a dental implant.
One of the main reasons people turn to dental implants is for their aesthetic value. With an implant, a metal rod goes into your jaw bone, and then a crown goes on top of the metal rod. The crown is basically a fake porcelain tooth that is designed to perfectly match the rest of the teeth in your mouth.
In most cases, the dentist takes a mold of your mouth and sends the mold to a lab. There, the technicians craft a tooth that looks just like your other teeth.
2. Improved Speech
Your teeth are an important tool in pronunciation. A lot of sounds require you to hit your tongue on the back of your teeth or to touch your lips with your teeth. If you are missing a tooth, that can affect your pronunciation. Getting an implant helps you restore your natural ability to annunciate.
3. Even Bite
If the missing tooth isn't in the front of your smile, it probably isn't noticeable to other people and it likely isn't involved in speech either. However, regardless of where the tooth is in your mouth, it's part of your bite.
Not being able to bite properly can affect your ability to eat. It can also affect the comfort of your mouth. Over time, an uneven bite can cause your other teeth to rub against each other—breaking down the enamel. That breakdown can lead to cavities. An implant fixes your bite and helps you avoid these issues.
Implants can replace a single missing tooth, but they can also replace several missing teeth. For example, if you are missing several teeth along the same arch of your mouth, the dentist can put in a bridge that is attached with implants.
Basically, the dentist puts in an implant on either side of the gap, and a bridge connects to the implants. The bridge is a set of fake porcelain teeth. Each fake tooth in the bridge does not have its own metal bar extending into your jaw—just the two end teeth.
Also called a permanent partial denture, this option can take the place of a removable denture. That is a lot more convenient for some people. You don't have to worry about taking out the denture and cleaning it. You also don't have to worry about losing or breaking the denture.
The other advantage of implants is that they can be a permanent solution. If you go for a dental bridge that is supported on your teeth instead of anchored with implants, it generally only lasts five to ten years. Whereas, a bridge anchored with implants can last for a lifetime if it's cared for properly. The same is true of single implants.
6. Optional Types of Metal Rods
Finally, when it comes to the metal rod, you get a choice between different types of metal. The two main types of metal in implants are stainless steel and titanium. If you are allergic to one, you can easily opt for the other. In some cases, you can even opt for chrome implants if you prefer.
If you're missing a tooth, it may be time to enjoy the convenience and durability of dental implants. For more information, contact Dr. Jeffrey S. Mika, D.D.S. today. We would love to help you complete your smile.