If you have ever been without a tooth for whatever reason, you know the embarrassment. The way you smile without ever opening your mouth. The way you casually cover your mouth with your hand while you speak to people. The way you begin using non-verbal expressions like head-nodding, hand waving, and shoulder-shrugging. Your demeanor becomes less outgoing and more inward as you feel ashamed of your gap-toothed smile. And if you have teeth missing in the back of your mouth, eating becomes a bit of a challenge when you can only chew foods on one side. You start making excuses not to share meals with friends and you start eating alone. And suddenly, you begin to feel like you really are alone just because you have let your dental work go for too long.
What To Do?
When people think of replacing missing teeth, they often picture a very old person with oversized and over-stated flapping dentures. The thought of that is overwhelming and scary to most of us! If you haven’t been to the dentist in a while (and judging by your dilemma, we assume that you haven’t) you might not know about dental implants.
Dental implants can replace one missing tooth, or several. The dentist will take a small, titanium implant, which looks like a very small screw, and place it into your jaw. For those who worry about metal implants, metal-free zirconium implants are available. This is a surgical procedure, but your dentist will be sure that you are completely numb and comfortable with a sedative to relax you. Placing the implant into the jawbone sounds painful, but most patients report that the procedure is entirely comfortable. After a period of healing, the implant will bond with the jawbone and the dentist will affix a very natural looking crown on top of the implant. You’ll have a brand-new tooth in place of an unsightly gap in no time. When multiple teeth are missing, implants can still be used, sometimes in addition to a bridge. When a full plate replacement is needed, implants can still be used to anchor dentures in place and provide stability.
Your dentist will be able to go over all of your options for tooth replacement based on your needs and preferences. Just like snowflakes, no two dental plans are alike and at Island Dental Associates, we’ll tailor a plan that fits your own unique dental situation. We offer additional procedures for those who have bone loss, need a sinus lift, or have receding gum tissue in the area where the implant needs to go. Whatever your needs are, we can help you get back to verbally communicating again, going back out to dinner with friends, and smiling your brightest without being ashamed. Because that is really what it’s all about; joy, happiness, and confidence to live as you desire.
Posted in: dental implant information