Condition of loss of at least one functional tooth is Edentulism. Edentulism has a significant effect on a patient’s oral health. Dental implants are the only potentially long-term solution to this lifelong problem.
Why Replace Missing Teeth
Missing one or more teeth can lead to:
- Difficulty in chewing ability and bite strength, limiting food choices, which could lead to a lower intake of fruits, vegetables, fiber leading to increased cholesterol.
- Bone loss that impacts the soft-tissue profile of the mouth and face.
- Exacerbated jaw joint and TMJ problems (in patients prone to joint issues) due to missing teeth – especially the back teeth.
- Increased rates of peptic or duodenal ulcers.
- Increased rates of chronic inflammation causing changes in the lining of the stomach.
- Increased risk of chronic kidney disease.
- Increased risk of noninsulin-dependent diabetes.
- Sleep-disordered breathing (such as obstructive sleep apnea).
Although bridges and dentures can be used to restore appearance and some functionality in patients with missing teeth, both will eventually need replacement and can damage the mouth. Fixed bridges can impact neighboring teeth, while dentures can lead to bone loss in the jaw. Dental implants have the following benefits:
- Safety and long-term solution – Dental implants are a safe way to replace missing teeth and can offer a permanent solution when properly placed and cared for.
- One or more teeth – A single dental implant can replace one or more teeth. Patients who have lost most or all their teeth can have them replaced via full-mouth dental implants.
- Natural-looking – The dental implant procedure involves placing a titanium implant in the jawbone that fuses with the bone to create a solid anchor. An abutment and a crown are placed on top to create the appearance of a natural tooth.
- Restore balance of teeth –Dental implants can help improve function and reduce unhealthy forces on the jaw joints (TMJs).
Patients suffering from edentulism should consult an oral and maxillofacial surgeon as soon as possible to minimize the risks detailed above. Dental implants offer a long-term solution to missing teeth.