You might think of a missing tooth as a purely cosmetic, but it has many implications on your oral health. Even if the gap isn’t visible, filling it is important. Thankfully, modern dentistry has provided many options for doing just that. For many people, an implant-supported restoration is the best solution.

What happens when you lose a tooth

When you lose a tooth, you have a gap in your smile. That is the only effect you see; however, the real damage is happening subtly.

  • Your jawbone begins to deteriorate in that area. This process, known as resorption, occurs because there is no root to provide stimulation for the bone tissue. It is often said “form follows function.” Simply put, when the bone is no longer needed, it melts away. Over time, this can affect your facial structure, and make the bone more susceptible to fracturing.
  • Due to lack of support, healthy teeth begin shifting towards the gap. As they lean, the tooth pulls away from the gum tissue, increasing the risk of infection. Additionally, crooked teeth tend to create tiny gaps, overlaps, and other problems making oral hygiene challenging.
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How implants help

Any of the traditional options, such as fixed bridges or removable dentures, will restore the appearance of your smile. They will also stabilize adjacent teeth, preventing shifting. However, they are designed to replace only the crown (visible part of a tooth). They do not replace the root, and therefore do not prevent jawbone loss. Dental implants are the only restorative option that replaces the roots of teeth. In addition to preserving bone health, they provide the highest level of stability available. They feel and function just like real teeth. When topped with a cosmetic crown, bridge, or other restoration, they look beautifully natural.

Residents of South Holland and other Chicagoland communities are fortunate to have access to exceptional dentistry, at an affordable price. Dr. Dean Dietrich offers many options, including top-quality dental implants, right here at Pleasant Dental® in Dolton. If you are looking for the best way to fill those gaps, call us at (708) 576-1900 and schedule a consultation to find out if dental implants are right for you.

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