Replace Missing Teeth with Dental Implants

The most popular treatment by far for replacing missing teeth are dental implants for their natural look, feel and ability to function like real teeth. Implant treatment may sound complex compared to traditional dentures and bridges, however, it is often straightforward and can be done in a few appointments.

What Are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are titanium ‘roots' which, when placed in the upper or lower jaw, bond with the bone, thus acting as anchors for the replacement teeth (implant crowns and bridges).

Dental implants look, feel and function like your natural teeth and have the highest success rate for tooth replacement (over 95%). They prevent bone loss and shrinkage of the jawbone which can make the face look older and therefore implants gives you a younger looking appearance.

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Why Replace Missing Teeth?

We know having attractive natural looking teeth help us look and feel our best. It gives us confidence and allows us to enjoy the foods we love. That is why the loss or damage of even a single tooth can have a considerable impact on everyday life and self-esteem. It can change a person’s entire personality. Many people with dental problems avoid smiling and going out, which causes them to appear less sociable, and perhaps even grumpy and unhappy.

Regardless of the aesthetic and psychological reasons, missing teeth should be replaced. Each missing tooth can potentially pose problems to your long-term dental health

as it can ultimately lead to the loss of additional teeth and ultimately a change in your facial appearance over time. The missing tooth can lead to a chain reaction, for example, adjacent teeth can collapse into the gap like dominos, while teeth in the opposing jaw can grow into the gap.

Missing teeth also causes the bone to gradually break down as the bone resorbs and gives patients a sunken face or “witches look”. Missing teeth can affect nutrition and well-being, as the types of food that can be consumed are often limited, hence resulting in deficiencies in vitamins and nutrients. For example, denture wearers often find it difficult to eat nuts, seeds and raw vegetables. Having good dental health makes life easier and more enjoyable in every way.

The images reflect how the bone ridge has collapsed after the tooth was removed and, without stimulation or grafting, the bone and gum have disappeared. The black arrows indicate where bone is now reduced to whereas the red arrow indicate the normal width that should be there.

Emotional Effects of Tooth Loss

  • Bereavement
  • Lowered Self Confidence
  • Altered Self Image
  • Dislike Of Appearance
  • Inability To Discuss Taboo Subject
  • Privacy
  • Behaving In A Way To Keep Tooth Loss A Secret
  • Altered Behaviour Socialising And Forming Close
  • Relationships
  • Premature Ageing
  • Lack Of Preparation

Fiske and Davis BDJ 1998

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