With a tooth missing, surrounding teeth both in front and behind as well as teeth in the opposing arch will drift and move. This can create a problem in the future. As a tooth tilts, biting stress is no longer through the long axis of the tooth. Periodontal gum problems can ensure under the portion of the tooth that is tilted. As the teeth drift, spaces that were once closed, open up, leading to food impaction and possible gum issues or decay.
More stress on the remaining teeth can then crack these teeth, requiring additional costs or even tooth loss.
A dental implant preserves the bone where the implant is placed. Without a dental implant being placed, the bone where the missing tooth was, will atrophy (shrink). The functional stress on the dental implant from chewing will keep the bone strong.
People ask “why not just get a fixed bridge”. First, if the teeth have nothing wrong with them, then the teeth in front and behind the missing tooth will need to be ground down. For this doctor, grinding down two healthy teeth is always a last choice.
If the teeth supporting the bridge have fillings that are too harge, then I feel we are asking two crippled teeth to do the work of three. This will certainly compromise the serviceability or the length of time the bridge will be working.
So frequently, I complete a patient’s implant case and the patient will state “I really should have done this sooner” and I always have to agree. Matter of fact, you can view and listen to my patient’s testimonials on our web site.