What happens if a missing tooth is not replaced?
A missing tooth can lead to potential problems if not treated
- Drifting and shifting of the neighboring teeth causing an unbalanced bite. - Increased biting stress on other teeth. - Bone recession in the area of the missing tooth. - The gap between teeth widens, thereby compromising the esthetic effect. - Losing your natural smile.
How can a missing tooth be replaced?
1. Removable Partial· Denture: (RPO)
It attaches to your natural teeth with metal clasps or devices called precision attachments.
Drawbacks: - Increasing stress on the teeth around the area of the missing tooth. - Bone recession in the area of the missing tooth
2. Fixed Bridge
It is a false tooth fused between two porcelain crowns to fill in the area of the missing tooth. The neighboring teeth are prepared (drilled) to attach a 3-tooth fixed bridge.
Drawbacks: - Root canal treatment might be necessary on the prepared teeth. - Increasing stress on the healthy teeth holding the bridge
It is an artificial tooth root, made of titanium metal. Dentist places it into your jaw to hold a replacement tooth or bridge. It is a permanent fixture in your mouth that has excellent long-term success.
It also provides more advanced options for replacing a missing tooth than conventional removable partial denture or a fixed bridge.
It helps to preserve healthy teeth and eliminate the risk of dental decay.
Fig. 1 Diagram of Implant Fig. 2 Lower molar Fig. 3 Maxillary sinus Fig. 4 Front tooth Fig. 5 Implant for the narrow gap between teeth
BENEFITS OF AN IMPLANT
“Keeps a one tooth problem a one tooth problem”
- Replaces one or more teeth without affecting neighboring teeth
- A long lasting solution
- Helps to prevent bone recession
- Eliminates the risk of dental decay
- Improves your speech, overall self-image and increases your ability to eat an array of foods
Missing tooth (Posterior)
Fig. 6 Molar tooth before the treatment Fig. 7 Molar tooth after treatment Fig. 8 Radiograph after the treatment
PRECAUTIONS AFTER IMPLANT SURGERY
- The surgery site may swell considerably for 2-3 days after the surgery; apply ice on the cheek of the surgery site. If the swollen part is very painful, visit a dental clinic for the appropriate treatment.
- After surgery, refrain from excessive exercise, overworking, saunas and long showers/baths in hot water until wound is healed.
- During brushing, avoid contact with the surgery site for 2-3 days (use gargle solution instead).
- Avoid drinking alcohol and smoking for 2 weeks.
- Chew food on the opposite side of the surgery site, and avoid hot foods.
- In the event a bone graft of the maxillary sinus is performed, avoid blowing your nose strongly or spitting.
- In case of severe bleeding, place cold water soaked gauze in the mouth. If the bleeding persists, visit a dental clinic for the appropriate treatment