The consequences of missing teeth
As a general rule, missing teeth should be replaced. As part of a complex system, each tooth plays an important role. For example, each tooth provides support to its neighboring teeth and holds them in position. Dental restoration (e.g. an implant) helps to prevent the tilting of the adjacent teeth and elongation of the opposing teeth. Where a gap is left or teeth drift, the bite typically sinks, resulting in dysfunctional loading of the jaw. This, in turn, may lead to abnormal and relieving postures which may cause symptoms in the entire musculoskeletal system.
Dysfunction of the masticatory muscles and the temporomandibular joints (myoarthropathic dysfunction) can be the cause of symptoms such as teeth grinding, headache, shoulder and back pain, impaired vision, tinnitus or dizziness.
Missing teeth and the inability to chew properly has a strong impact on our food intake. Our entire digestive system (stomach, intestines and other internal organs) can be affected.
Why restoration with a dental implant?
Today’s implantology offers a broad range of options for the replacement of missing teeth. In contrast to classic dental bridges, dental implants do not require grinding down (”damaging”) the adjacent healthy teeth. Healthy dental material can thus be preserved. In addition, grinding down teeth is associated with the risk of triggering inflammation of the dental nerve, especially in teeth with an oblique long axis. As a result, root canal treatment or extensive treatment for a fractured tooth may be required.
Dental implants for bone preservation
Where teeth are missing, the chewing forces are no longer transmitted to the jawbone. Without this stimulation, the bone starts to disappear. We know from space flight that the lack of forces acting on and stimulating the muscles lead to muscle atrophy. What happens to the affected jawbone is somewhat similar. Bone loss is the result of a lack of loading on the tissue and/or the increased presence of cells that break down bone (so-called osteoclasts). In addition, inactivity leads to atrophy of the muscles involved. In contrast to an edentulous situation, the chewing forces in a completely dentate situation are equally distributed onto teeth and implants, resulting in bone preservation.
Dental implants "help" the natural teeth
Implants can replace the natural root of a tooth. Excessive or abnormal loading forces acting on adjacent teeth can be prevented in this way. This is crucial, especially in patients with pre-existing periodontal disease (periodontitis). With dental bridges, the chewing forces only act on the teeth supporting the bridge. Here, implants can be use strategically to increase the number of abutment teeth.
The advantages of implants at a glance:
- Implants are artificial tooth roots with stable integration in the jawbone. No difference to natural teeth is usually experienced.
- Dental implants can last for a lifetime, given proper aftercare and good oral hygiene.
- In contrast to classic dental bridges, dental implants do not require grinding down the adjacent healthy teeth.
- Dental implants are made of titanium, which is not rejected by the body.
- Implants are placed quickly in a minimally invasive, pain-free way.
- All annoying aspects of prostheses are avoided.
- Loss of jawbone is prevented.
- The jaw muscles continue to function naturally.