Why You Should Replace a Missing Tooth with a Dental Implant ASAP
Having practiced dentistry in Iowa for over 20 years, Dr. Chris McDonald could not begin to count how many missing teeth he has replaced. However, he does find it interesting how often adults with a missing tooth postpone dental care. After all, the benefits of getting a dental implant stretch far beyond maintaining a perfect smile. Here, he shares some of the reasons that you should replace a missing tooth promptly.
Replacing a Tooth Keeps You Healthy
Your teeth help to keep your jawbone strong. When a tooth falls out, the surrounding bone gradually deteriorates. The good news is that a dental implant mimics the role of real tooth roots, which ensures that the jawbone does not erode. The sooner you address this problem, the better off you are.
Furthermore, the space from a vacant tooth is more likely to lead to gum disease. Brushing and flossing with a full set of teeth — even if one or more are dental implants — can help limit periodontal problems. This is even more important when you consider that gum disease is linked to an increased risk for other health problems like diabetes, stroke, hypertension, heart disease and dementia.
A Dental Implant Takes Time
As nice as it would be to replace a missing tooth with an implant on demand, there is a process involved. At the first appointment, Dr. McDonald can usually attach a metal post into the jawbone. However, if the bone has weakened to the extent that it cannot hold a post, he may need to perform a bone grafting procedure first.
Either way, it takes months for the post to properly latch into your mouth. While you can wear a temporary prosthesis in the meantime, it will be a while before your permanent implant can be attached in your mouth. You can’t show up and expect everything to transpire in one day, so procrastinating on a dental implant does not make sense.
Improving Your Appearance
Obviously, your smile looks nicer and complete when you have a full set of teeth. Some people assume that a missing back tooth is no big deal since it’s harder to spot, but it can end up pushing other teeth out of alignment. That’s because your intact teeth are likely to shift to fill the vacant space.
Worse still, your face itself may look different. Your teeth and jawbone give structure to your face. When a tooth goes missing, this can eventually give your face a sunken in appearance that looks less attractive. Having an implant helps to maintain a healthy shape to your face.
Schedule an Appointment
With good care, dental implants can last in your mouth for decades. Rather than procrastinating on this valuable procedure, you might as well get it now to avoid the embarrassment and consequences of having a missing tooth. To learn more about a dental implant, please schedule an appointment with Dr. McDonald by calling (515) 334-3838 today.