Replacing a missing tooth is not just a cosmetic procedure. Gaps in one’s smile can lead to a wide variety of secondary problems ranging from cracked teeth to chronic headaches. Here is a closer look at how dental implants can help you restore your smile and preserve the surrounding natural teeth.
Both mandibles (lower jaws) and maxillae (upper jaws) require constant stimulation from teeth. Without stimulation from the root of each tooth, that area of the bone will actually undergo a transformation known as resorption. This condition will dramatically weaken the jaw and can result in facial deformations and fractured bones.
Cracked and Chipped Teeth
Every healthy tooth in your mouth supports the teeth around it. When one goes missing, the nearby teeth will quickly begin to change their position and slouch toward the open space that has been created. Over time, a misaligned bite pattern will increase a patient’s risk of cracking or chipping the remaining natural teeth while speaking, eating, or simply clenching their jaw.
Gum Disease and Tooth Decay
A straight and complete smile is much easier to keep clean with daily habits such as brushing and flossing. When the teeth move, however, these hygiene habits become exponentially more difficult. By not removing bacteria from your mouth, your risk of tooth decay and gum disease will increase. Over time, both periodontal disease and dental caries can result in severe damage that will require a root canal or tooth extraction.