Dental implants in Harrisburg are the modern way to replace missing teeth. Implants avoid the shortcomings of other treatment options such as traditional dentures. Without implants, even a single missing tooth can put you at risk of bacterial infections, bone loss, and further tooth loss. The time to learn more about implants is now, before these conditions turn into serious issues.
What Happens When a Tooth Goes Missing
Have you ever wondered why most dentists avoid extracting a tooth whenever possible? It’s because missing teeth expose the patient to ongoing oral health problems like these:
- Heightened risk of infection. Decay-causing bacteria are sneaky. They love to hide in corners and other out-of-the-way spots in your mouth. The cavity created by a missing tooth creates the perfect gathering spot for these harmful microorganisms.
- TMJ symptoms. TMJ disorder is a common health condition that affects millions of Americans. It can lead to headaches, back and neck pain, and problems opening and closing your jaw. People with missing teeth often must shift their bite to another side of their mouth in order to chew their food, increasing their risk of developing TMJ.
- Bone loss. The bones in your jaw are like the muscles in your body. They get weaker when they go unused. Even a single missing tooth can deprive these bones of the stimulation they need. This is what creates the “sunken” look you may have seen in people with advanced tooth loss.
- More missing teeth. Your teeth are designed to work as a single unit. When one is missing, those around it are subjected to unhealthy and unnatural stress. This is why you rarely see people with only one missing tooth. In time the others fall as well, like a set of dominoes in a row.
Traditional Dentures Are Not the Best Option for Many Patients
Dentists have been designing replacements for missing teeth for hundreds of years. The oldest and most commonly used option is traditional dentures. But, while dentures are better than nothing, for many people they’re not the ideal solution. Here’s why:
- Traditional dentures cannot stop the process of bone loss discussed above. That’s because they’re not connected to the bones under your gum line, unlike your natural teeth.
- Traditional dentures rely on cream adhesives to stay in place. This means they can fail with no notice, causing embarrassment.
- Traditional dentures must be redesigned every few years as the patient’s face continues to change. They can’t offer the kind of long-term benefits today’s dental patients need
Implants offer a better solution. Because they draw their strength from the jaw itself, they can stop the process of facial bone loss in its tracks. They require no messy creams to stay in place, they allow the patient to live a normal lifestyle, and they require no special maintenance.
Implant dentures are a hybrid approach to tooth restoration, one that’s gaining in popularity as its benefits become better known. This option combines the advantages of implants with the convenience of dentures. The implants in the patient’s jaw not only prevent bone loss, they ensure that the restoration itself will never accidentally come loose.
Talk to your dentist in Harrisburg soon about implants and other restoration options. After all, you’re much too important to let missing teeth ruin your smile.
About the Author
Dr. Gary M Klein earned his DDS degree from the NYU College of Dentistry before completing his one-year residency at Lehigh Valley Hospital in Allentown. His broad-based training and experience enables them to treat a wide range of dental problems. You can reach his office online or by calling (717) 652-6644.