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Take Caution When Replacing Missing Teeth

Photo Courtesy of Shen Chao

Having missing teeth can have both aesthetic and psychological effects, hence the need to replace missing teeth. If you have missing teeth, it is likely that you are debating on a number of treatment options. Although many people tend to ignore the idea of replacing missing teeth, the cost of not replacing missing teeth can be far more costly.

The Cost of not Replacing Missing Teeth
Dental implants are a leading solution to the problem of loss of teeth. This is attributed to their impressive success rate among other tooth replacement procedures. Furthermore, they are more like the normal teeth in terms of looks as well as functionality thus; they can last for the rest of your life when taken care of properly.
 
Implants are a significant investment, compared to the other options you are guaranteed of the best value. Even then, you will do well to consider other tooth replacement options including not replacing. The question then is what is the price tag of not taking any action? The true cost of not doing anything will surprise you.

The Hope: A Short-term Gain?
Not getting treatment for your missing teeth can be seen as the cheapest option there is, in the short run. Remember, you will still be experiencing the effects of missing teeth that go beyond your appearance to difficulty in speaking or eating normally as well as loss of self-confidence. Other complications like nutritional deficiencies and increased bone loss are invisible. These problems do not have a price tag, yet they are so real.

The Reality: A Long-term Loss
Losing teeth leads to subsequent deterioration of the jawbone that supported them. Thus, this bone decreases in density and volume over time and this eventually affects your facial appearance over time.

That is, when you lose teeth and the jawbone degenerates, the distance between the chin and nose may decrease causing the lips to curve into a frown and eventually the lower third of your face will collapse. This is the reason why people who have missing teeth seem unhappy.

Removable dentures are not the solution to bone loss either. If anything, they tend to make it worse. In fact, this is the reason removable dentures require periodic replacement and adjustment as they put a lot of pressure on the jawbone causing it to erode. Eventually, treatment may become vital. However, putting the implants in place may be difficult where the bone quantity and quality has diminished calling for bone grafts in the area so that there is enough bone volume to handle the right size of the implant.

The Bottom Line
The lack of adequate bone volume does not imply that implants cannot be considered as a solution. Bone grafting can be done during the implant process even though the process will be more costly, longer and more complicated. The degree to which the procedure will be costly varies on a case-to-case basis. Even then, it is not uncommon to see the treatment cost going up by up to 50% owing to the additional work that is required. This is the ultimate cost of waiting.

Photo Courtesy of Shen Chao

Benefits of Dental Implants over other Treatments
Dental implants are considered a first choice as well as standard care over the other options of treating damaged or missing teeth. This is because of the many benefits that this procedure offers that include the following:

* It is next to healthy natural teeth – Dental implants are stable and strong with more similarity to natural teeth in terms of how they fit, feel and look. Besides, it does not lead to bone deterioration. Implants do not also interfere with smiling, speaking, eating and other everyday activities.

* Long lasting solution – Dental implants can last a lifetime when placed and taken care of well.

* Peace of mind – With dental implants, you have your peace of mind as you do not need to worry about feeling embarrassed or uncomfortable in public.

* Retain the natural shape of your face and smile – Loss of teeth can lead to a sagging, sad and sunken face. However, with implants, you can maintain the natural shape of your smile and face.

* Protect healthy bone – Failure to replace missing teeth causes the jawbone to deteriorate in density and weight and this can lead to other health issues. Dental implants stimulate and preserve natural bone effectively preventing bone loss.

* Ease of speaking – Removable dentures can lead to difficulty in speaking. However, with implants you can be sure to speak with ease as you would with natural teeth.

* Keep your teeth in your mouth not a cup – unlike dentures where you keep your teeth in a cup when cleaning them, implants can be brushed just like normal teeth.

* No restriction of foods you can eat – Implants do not come with restrictions of foods you can or cannot eat. Thus, you can eat just about everything you like.

* No cavities – Implant restored crown cannot have cavities therefore you can be sure your implants will not have cavities.

* Implants stay in place – While dentures are known to slip when you talk, eat or even laugh causing you to reposition them every so often, implants are fixed and fuse with the jaw bone naturally.

* Protect healthy teeth – implants get to the jawbone right where the missing tooth was without affecting healthy teeth.

Ultimately, implant dentists recommend replacing missing teeth with dental implants is a great way of not only restoring your smile and confidence but also your jawbone.

Author

Shen Chao

Shen Chao is part of Dr. Joshua Hong’s Smile Clinic. While working for the Smile Clinic, he's gained first hand experiences into the questions and concerns that dental patients have. He has been writing to inform people about various dental topics to help his readers improve their oral health. When he's not working, you can find him on a hiking trail with his dog or having a Sunday cook-out with friends. 
 





 
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