Let’s face it: once you move past a certain age, losing a tooth is bad news. Unfortunately, adult tooth loss is a serious problem in the U.S. According to the American College of Prosthodontists, 178 million American adults have one or more missing teeth. For centuries, dental bridges have served as the tooth replacement option of choice, but with new advances in dental technology, dental implants have become the gold standard of dental prosthetics. Dr. James Fondriest, your Lake Forest restorative and cosmetic dentist, discusses some of the problems associated with missing teeth as well as the benefits of single tooth dental implants.
One Missing Tooth, Several Serious Problems
If you lose one of your front teeth, you will probably try to replace it as quickly as possible. However, a tooth missing from anywhere in your mouth can cause more problems that just a funky looking smile. Spaces in the dental arch encourage your remaining teeth to move and shift. This movement throws off the alignment of your teeth, creating overlaps and crowding that encourage the growth of bacterial plaque between teeth. This increases your chances of developing tooth decay and gum disease. In addition, shifting teeth can cause malocclusion, or problems with your bite. Malocclusion could lead to a number of painful problems with your TMJs.
Dental Implants: The Best Restorative Option
While dental bridges rest on top of the gums and require the removal of healthy enamel from the neighboring teeth, dental implants are literally implanted in to the jaw and help improve the health of the entire mouth. A single tooth dental implants is comprised of three primary parts:
1) The Implant. An oral surgeon places the titanium implant into the jaw where it integrates with the bone tissue and takes the place of a natural tooth root.
2) The Abutment. Once the implant has fully healed, a process that requires 3-6 months, an abutment that will secure the crown to the implant is placed.
3) The Restoration. An artfully designed, expertly crafted porcelain or zirconia crown is affixed to the abutment.
Are Dental Implants Right for You?
While most wearers say that having a dental implant is the closest thing to having your healthy, natural tooth back, not everyone qualifies for dental implant placement. Strong jawbone density and a lack of significant oral health issues, such a gum disease or tooth decay, are prerequisites for dental implants.
Missing Teeth in Lake Forest
To schedule a consultation, contact us at (847) 234-0517. A 60045 cosmetic dentist, Dr. Fondriest proudly offers restorative dentistry services to patients from Lake Forest and the North Shore suburbs near Chicago.