Losing a tooth isn't fun for anyone, and the prospect of having more fall out is probably upsetting for you. While good dental hygiene can help to increase your chances of keeping all of your teeth, once a tooth is lost, it becomes more likely for you to lose others regardless. Thankfully, it doesn't have to be that way. By getting a tooth replacement as soon as you can, you can help to avoid this problem. Read on to learn why this risk exists and how a tooth replacement can help.
The Problem with Losing a Tooth
Teeth can be lost for many different reasons, but it's actually the absence of the tooth that increases your risk of losing others. You see, the teeth aren't just working above the surface to help you to chew. They have an important job under the surface, too.
The root of your teeth extends far down into your gums, actually reaching your jaw bone. When you bite and chew, the pressure you put on your teeth extends into the entire tooth, stimulating the tissues it comes into contact with. This helps to increase gum circulation, and in the case of your jaw, it helps to strengthen the bone and keep it healthy.
When circulation becomes worse, your risk of gum disease increases. To make matters worse, if enough bone density is lost in your jaw, your remaining teeth can become poorly supported. This can cause loose teeth, and without help, eventually the loss of those teeth.
How Implants Mimic Natural Tooth Function
Although dental implants are made out of artificial materials instead of real bone and tissue, they can still perform some of the same functions as real teeth. This includes their ability to transfer pressure wherever they extend to. Since dental implants are the same length as real teeth, they can take over the job your tooth left behind when it fell out.
To be specific, a dental implant has a post beneath the visible tooth that allows you to chew normally. This post is what acts like the root of a normal, healthy tooth. With this post, the tooth can help to support your remaining teeth by keeping the bone and gums in your mouth healthy.
The Setup Process
Getting a dental implant put in isn't a big ordeal. Your dentist will measure and examine your remaining teeth, as well as the space where your tooth once was. From these measurements, they'll be able to order a post and tooth that are appropriate for the size of your mouth and surrounding teeth.
The post will be put in place first. Your dentist will put it in the space where your tooth root once was. Then you'll be given some time to allow your gums to close up around it. Once the healing process is complete, the tooth cap can be placed on top and you can immediately begin to eat normally again.
Dental implants can do a lot for your appearance and your ability to chew, but they can also help to support the healthy teeth you still have. If you've had a missing tooth for a while, it's time to get it replaced. Talk to a dentist about getting dental implants.