If you have a missing tooth, a dental implant is a terrific choice to restore lost support and function. It can feel just like having your original tooth back.
As an implant dentist in Toronto, I see many people that have lost teeth. For most, that’s usually a great disappointment for them.
At the time of losing a tooth, there’s usually a sense of urgency to do something about it. The longer you wait, the less urgent it seems.
Now, if a tooth is loss within the aesthetic zone – a front tooth – people usually want it replaced quickly. They don’t want to be walking around with a severely compromised smile.
Dental implants can take time to be placed and heal before restoring with a tooth. Fortunately, your smile can be restored quickly with a temporary prosthesis while you wait for proper healing and the final prosthesis.
Back teeth are often less of a priority because they don’t show much in the smile. Some people get used to having a missing back tooth and they feel no sense of urgency to replace it. They opt to leave the situation unattended. As time passes, any urgency is lost and they grow more complacent with the situation.
Losing subsequent teeth becomes that much easier to cope with. That's not a good thing if it means complacency towards losing teeth.
When you’ve lost a back tooth, you’ll initially notice a huge difference. You don’t chew nearly as well on that side and you'll begin to switch your chewing over to the other side.
Within a few months, your pattern of chewing can adapt to the loss. Leave it like and eventually you’ll barely even notice anything is missing. You make do with what you have and become accustomed to chewing with one less tooth.
Going through the time and expense of replacing a missing tooth with a bridge or dental implant can seem a low priority by that point.
Losing a tooth can cause a cascade affect, whereby numerous things start to go wrong. Your adjacent teeth can begin to drift. Your opposing teeth can over-erupt into the missing space. The teeth on the opposite can break from overuse. The teeth next to the missing one can begin showing signs of early wear due to overloading. All the teeth on that affected side become more vulnerable to gum disease and tooth decay.
None of that happens overnight. The changes are slow and not easily noticeable until well-advanced.
Some people act immediately when they lose a tooth. They’re upset about the loss and act swiftly to recover the situation by opting for a bridge or dental implant. That’s the best choice.
When a tooth is lost there’s a window of opportunity to maintain the bone around it. Much of the supporting bone can be lost in the first year after an extraction. Acting swiftly to place a dental implant will maintain the bone support and improve chances of long-term success.
The cost of replacing a missing tooth with a bridge or dental implant can be prohibitive. Combine that with a lack of urgency and you can appreciate why it’s easy to put off doing something about a missing tooth. With progressive loss of bone, placing a dental implant can become less viable as time passes.
Need a Toronto implant dentist? At Royal York Dental we have many years experience with dental implant care. Give us a call at 416 231-0550.
About the Author: Dr. Joe Bulger is a cosmetic dentist from Toronto, Canada and the owner-founder of Royal York Dental. A prestigious office serving West Toronto since 1950.
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