The consequences of a missing tooth or teeth don’t stop at your smile looking unsightly, and if you’re unsure of how one or more missing teeth can affect your physical and mental wellbeing, you’re in the right place. In this blog, we’re going to look at why it’s worth replacing missing teeth and why dental implants are the best way to achieve this. Dental implants are considered to be one of the most amazing advancements in modern dentistry and are the touchstone in tooth replacement treatment. Take a look at our complete guide to dental implants below to find out what dental implants are, how they work and why they’re the next best thing to a real tooth.
Why Replace a Missing Tooth?
Many people don’t realise the impact a missing tooth can end up having on their confidence, their dental health and hygiene, and even their whole facial aesthetic. If you’re missing a tooth that was previously part of the ‘social six’ (the teeth most visible when you smile), it can end up putting you off opening your mouth around others and limiting how often you smile. Not only does this drive down serotonin levels (the wellbeing chemical released when you smile), it also inadvertently affects the way others perceive you. A smile has the potential to make or break a first impression, and when your desire to smile becomes diluted, you could end up missing out on that promotion you’re after and even lessen your chances in the dating world.
What are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are made from titanium (a highly biocompatible material) and replace the root of a tooth, providing stability to the jawbone. It’s the latter fact that makes dental implants a cut above the rest. As they’re surgically inserted directly into the jawbone, they can support your facial structures and stop them from appearing sunken overtime. When you lose a tooth, the vacant area of jawbone becomes susceptible to resorption, a process whereby the jawbone shrinks away because a tooth no longer stimulates it. The longer a missing tooth goes untreated, the more the jawbone shrinks. And in cases where a person has multiple missing teeth, this can result in facial collapse, characterised by the chin protruding outwards. This often makes those with tooth and jawbone loss appear older than their years.
Is There Anyone Who Isn’t Suitable for Treatment?
Whilst there is no upper age limit for getting a dental implant, patients need to be around the age of 20, as we’ll need to know the jawbone has stopped growing. Meanwhile, some patients do not have sufficient healthy jawbone to accommodate dental implants. In such cases, we can look into a jawbone graft referral, which would allow you to have dental implants at a later date. Lifestyle habits like smoking and excessive alcohol consumption could also be a barrier to dental implants treatment, as both of these actions impede the healing process. Please don’t hesitate to speak to your dentist here at Cliftonville Dental if you’re looking to adopt healthier habits, who can support you in this.
What to Expect From the Dental Implants Treatment Process
The implant is surgically inserted into your jawbone whilst you’re under local anaesthetic, and over a period of around six months, the tissue and cells in your jawbone grow around the implant, accepting it as if it were a real tooth root. Once your gums have healed, we can invite you back to the practice to have an impression of your mouth taken, which will allow the dental laboratory to create a custom restoration (like a crown or a bridge) unique to your smile. After receiving this back at the practice here in Northampton, your restoration is placed securely over the top with a connecting element known as an abutment. Enjoy the wonders of chewing, kissing and smiling as normal again.
How Dental Implants Can Become Life-Changing
It may sound hyperbolic, but here at Cliftonville Dental, we’ve seen how patients’ lives are transformed after dental implants treatment. Many patients feedback to us that they wished they had started the process sooner after realising treatment was pain-free and expressed how their day-to-day confidence and wellbeing is restored to a level they never thought possible.
Lockdown has had a profound impact on our lifestyle habits, though one particular resurgence that has come about is the idea of home cooking. It’s great to see the country embracing the joy food has to bring during this tough time, but this presents its own problems for those with missing teeth and dentures.
Missing teeth and dentures limit the types of food you can eat, taking the enjoyment out of eating and even the health benefits. It’s been reported that denture-wearers in the UK over the age of 75 tend to eat less fruit and vegetables and have lower intakes of micronutrients, including vitamin C. Like dentures, missing teeth make it more challenging to eat solid foods – the best way to restore your ability to eat a wide variety of foods is to choose dental implants.
Cliftonville Dental – Experts in Dental Implant Treatment
Cliftonville Dental were one of the first practices in the area to offer dental implants and have cultivated a great reputation for placing dental implants. We’re also one of the few practices in Northamptonshire to have a state-of-the-art 3D scanner, which allows us to meticulously plan treatment for patients and ensure precise placement and predictable results. Principal dentist and practice owner Dr Anesh Patel has a special interest in implantology and always strives to stay up-to-date with the latest technology and treatment techniques, allowing him to deliver tailored implant treatments with outstanding results for patients.
If you’re interested in dental implants to replace missing teeth, contact our friendly Northampton dental practice to book a consultation appointment. We always provide a quote after our assessment and offer interest-free and low-cost finance solutions that allow payments to be spread over 6-60 months (T & Cs apply).