We all experience bone loss as we get older, but unfortunately when we lose a tooth, bone loss occurs much more rapidly if we don’t replace the missing tissue. In the same way that weight-bearing exercises stimulate bone growth and increase bone mineral density in our other bones, the pressure applied to teeth when we chew stimulates the jawbone and keeps it strong.
In the empty space where a tooth used to be, the jaw receives no stimulation, and bone resorption will soon begin, essentially dissolving the solid matter below the gap in the gum line. The good news is that this disuse atrophy can be easily prevented with a bone graft or dental implant.
With that most important dental implant benefit in mind, here are 5 more great reasons dental implants are important:
- Preserved Self-Esteem—
Dental implants can maintain your face shape by keeping your jaw in solid condition, helping you look younger in the process.
Having a missing tooth can also undermine your self-confidence, making you feel less attractive than when you had a full mouth of teeth. A dental implant can give you back your confident smile and make you feel better about yourself.
- Increased Comfort—
When you remove a tooth and don’t hold the space with a dental implant or bone graft, the other teeth in your mouth may start to move out of place, giving you an improper or crooked bite. This can make chewing and eating uncomfortable, and can even affect your speech.
A proper bite is also important for muscle tone and alignment, making dental implants necessary for maintaining your facial muscles after the loss of a tooth.
- Maximum Durability—
Once you start losing teeth, if you don’t replace them with dental implants or bone grafts, you have officially started down the treacherous path to jawbone loss and possibly dentures.
A dental implant can halt this process before it even begins, preserving your jaw and the rest of your teeth with a replacement that will most likely last more than 20 years.
Many people lose a tooth and skip the replacement dental implant to save money without realizing they are actually costing themselves money in the long run after bone resorption and further tooth loss inevitably follow. And unlike dentures, bone implants are permanent, minimizing maintenance trips to and from your dentist.
- Gastrointestinal Benefits—
The mouth is where the lengthy process of food digestion begins, starting with the enzyme production that helps us digest our food and remove valuable nutrients when we chew.
When you remove one piece of the puzzle by not replacing a missing tooth, you make chewing more difficult, which in turn makes it harder for your body to process the food you eat. This poor digestion can affect the sufferer in different ways, such as malnutrition, indigestion, constipation, bloating, gas and heartburn.
- Oral Health Maintenance—
Having a missing tooth makes a person more prone to gum disease, in addition to causing the other teeth in the mouth to shift and move out of place.
But if you fill the missing spot with a dental implant, the enamel and structural integrity of the surrounding teeth is completely maintained. This is because a dental implant stands alone and doesn’t require the grinding or alteration of other teeth to support it.
Your dentist will do everything possible to save your teeth, but sometimes tooth loss is an unfortunate fact of life. Thanks to dental implants, tooth loss no longer has to mean jawbone resorption, and the inevitable negative side-effects it can cause.
So if you happen to lose a tooth, don’t worry; just be sure to preserve your self-esteem and health by getting a dental implant.