Dental implants: the sooner the better
Some people postpone treatment to fix missing teeth.
They may think the only reason to replace a missing tooth is for aesthetic reasons. They may also presume that when they replace a missing tooth isn’t that significant.
However, the sooner you replace a missing tooth with a dental implant, the better. Here’s why.
Deterioration of the jawbone
Healthy bone tissue requires stimulation to achieve new growth. In the case of the jawbone, this stimulation comes from the pressure of biting when you eat. As you chew, force is exerted up and down the roots of your teeth and into your jaw. This force causes continual tissue growth and strength.
When you’re missing a tooth, this pressure is no longer there. Over time, as the bone is no longer stimulated to grow new tissue, your jawbone can begin to shrink.
Replacing a missing tooth with a dental implant prevents bone loss by recreating the same force through a prosthetic crown and titanium dental implant. As an implant allows you to eat and chew the same way as a natural tooth, your jaw can’t tell the difference and continues to grow new bone.
Remaining teeth can shift over time
Patients who do not replace missing teeth with a dental implant right away can experience a shifting of their remaining teeth as their jaw slowly adjusts to the bone loss. Waiting too long can lead to a situation where there’s no longer enough space to easily install a dental implant in the original gap. Shifting can also cause teeth to twist and turn.
Could lead to the loss of other teeth
Missing teeth can make it challenging to brush properly, increasing the possibility of decay in your remaining teeth. Combined with bone loss and shifting teeth, a patient who is missing one or more teeth has a higher likelihood of losing more teeth in the future.
More expensive and more complex to fix later
The number one objection to getting a dental implant is the cost. However, delaying the procedure can lead to costlier treatment options down the road. While an oral surgeon can use bone grafts and other techniques to regenerate bone tissue, these extra treatments add significant time and expense.
The best time to receive a dental implant is immediately after you’ve lost the tooth. You’ll save time and money while protecting your other teeth, and boost your confidence with a healthy smile.