One of the proposition of any dental treatment is to keep the tooth within the mouth in a healthy and functional condition as long as possible. If the tooth has a caries, the caries must be removed and a filling is placed to replace the lost dental tissue. If the tooth is infected, a root canal treatment is performed to stop the spread of infection and bring it back to healthy state. If the tooth is cracked, a cusp coverage restoration is done to protect the remaining tissue and prevent the spread of crack. However, what if the tooth is deemed unrestorable or untreatable hence extraction is the only way to go?
What should we do if we lost a tooth?
Ideally, every missing tooth must be replaced to ensure our chewing system work properly. Loss of teeth is associated with reduced chewing efficiency and many following problems such as TMJ problem, periodontal problem of the adjacent teeth, speech difficulty, change of chewing pattern, poor body balance, and poor facial esthetic.
There are two ways to replace missing teeth, such as fixed/ removable prothesis and dental implant.
If a porcelain crown is to replace the natural tooth crown, a dental implant is to replace the natural tooth root.
Unlike fixed bridge or removable denture that require support and anchorage from the adjacent teeth, dental implant doesn’t affect the remaining dentition, allowing it to be more conservative.
Fixed bridge requires the dentist to prep the supporting teeth and this procedure may damage the supporting teeth in the long run. The bridge itself may create hygiene problem because it’s difficult to access and kept clean.
Removable denture on the other hand is not as aggresive as a fixed bridge as it requires minimal tooth preparation. However, comfort and stability is always an issue, especially in cases where there’s only few teeth left. Removable denture also moves a little under chewing pressure and may incur problem with the surrounding soft tissue.
Both of fixed and removable denture can not maintain the bone volume that always shrinks after a tooth is extracted.
Dental implant can solve these problems we have with fixed/ removable prothesis.
Comfort and stability
An implant feels almost 100% like natural tooth because the crown-suporting fixture is placed within the bone just like a natural tooth root, allowing the porcelain crown to “sit” on the gum naturally. It doesn’t move under chewing pressure and it won’t come off during eating/ speaking (unlike removable denture). Implants are also easy to clean just like regular teeth and with proper hygiene, it may last as long as 20 year.
Maintains bone volume
Once a tooth is extracted, the remaining bone goes into atrophic changes. The alveolar process slowly shrinks because it no longer receives stimulation from the tooth root. This will not happen if we use implant. Implant replaces the tooth root thus providing the necessary stimulation for the alveolar process, maintaining bone height and bone volume important for function and esthetic.
Years ago, dental implant was quite an exclusive treatment options because there were only few implant manufacturers, they sold their implant at a relatively high price and only few could afford it. However, the situation is now different after the surge of value-brand implants. There are currently more than 200 implant companies in the world, so how to make sure you get the good one?
Once the implant is placed and integrated with the bone, it becomes a part of your body, just like your natural teeth. Just like your teeth, implants also need maintenance and may need minor repair or adjustment in the future.
If we expect the implant to survive for 10 years, we also expect the company to be around for at least the same time.
It is, therefore, very important to choose a reputable dental implant company with a long standing history and good research and development.
In our clinic, we use Osstem implants for our patients. With its history for 20 years, the company has exceptional basis for the development of their product based on scientific research, to ensure their implants are able to meet the progressing clinical demand and deliver maximum benefit for the patients in the long term.
Our experience in using Osstem implants has got us satisfying feedback from the patients. We want to deliver the best for our patients while at the same time providing the treatment itself at a reasonable price.
Dental implants are the best choice to replace missing teeth. By choosing the proper one, we want to ensure the safety and the enhancement of our patient’s overall health.