If you’re struggling with tooth loss or other dental issues, then you may be trying to decide which treatment option is best for you. For many patients, dental implants in Knoxville are the solution they’re looking for. Implants last longer than bridges on average and place no strain on the surrounding teeth. Plus, implants are virtually indistinguishable from your natural teeth and can last more than 20 years.
Why Are Implants Better?
In the past, a dental patient’s options for replacing missing teeth were pretty limited. He or she could either risk an extraction or try to get by with a bridge. But, while bridges can help in many cases, they also have their share of drawbacks. These include:
- A bridge does not replace the root of the damaged tooth, which can set the patient up for future discomfort and increased risk of infection.
- Installing a crown requires that the dentist shape and file the surrounding teeth to accept the appliance. The center portion that spans over the missing tooth has no underlying support. This is a critical weakness that can cause problems later on.
- Bridges remain an artificial modification to the body for as long as they stay in place. With implants, the root of the appliance eventually merges with the surrounding bone, forming a true long-term solution.
What Happens When You Lose a Tooth
For many people, the answer to oral health issues is easy: tell the dentist to extract the problem tooth and don’t worry about it anymore. Unfortunately, it’s rarely that simple. Here’s why:
- The bones in your jaw are similar to muscles, in that they need stimulation – “exercise” if you will – to maintain their strength and shape. When a tooth is missing, the bones fail to receive this needed pressure; and when that happens your jaw bone can begin to dissolve.
- An eroding jaw bone is unable to support your face, causing your skin to sag and wrinkle prematurely. Some people with tooth loss look much older than they really are.
- When a tooth is missing, this places unnatural stress on the remaining teeth, forcing them to bend forward or to the side. If this problem becomes bad enough then the patient must wear braces, even if he or she is well into adulthood.
For these reasons, most dentists recommend implant therapy as the treatment of choice for missing teeth. But only a dental professional can prescribe the exact course of treatment for you. We recommend making an appointment with your dentist in Knoxville today for a full checkup and consultation.Your doctor will perform x-rays, review your health history, and discuss your options with you at that time.
For many people, dental implants can restore lost teeth, enhance self-confidence, and enable them to eat, speak and enjoy all their favorite activities free of worry. Whichever treatment option you pursue, we wish you and yours lots of happy smiles in the months and years to come.
About the Author
Dr. Ben Stroud is a Knoxville native who earned his DDS degree from UT-Memphis in 2002. Since then, he has completed advanced training in cosmetic procedures and sleep apnea treatment. You can reach his office online or by calling (865) 531-7117.