Tooth loss can be a devastating blow – emotionally, professionally and (sometimes) literally. Research shows that tooth loss can greatly impact a person’s sense of self-esteem and self-worth, and that this can have a negative effect on their social and family life, and can even affect productivity at work. In the worst cases, losing a tooth can have serious psychological implications.
Losing teeth will gradually affect the shape of your face, as the bone of your jaw begins to atrophy where the root was removed. Patients realizing this have been known to become preoccupied with the fact, causing stress, panic and even depression.
There is a solution, however. Dental implants are intended to serve as a permanent replacement for a lost tooth and can achieve this end without detrimentally affecting healthy teeth around it. This gives the dental implant therapy a clear advantage over alternatives such as dental bridges.
Dental implants are simply small grade IV titanium screws that osseointegrate (stabilize) within the jawbone, allowing replacement false teeth to be inserted where the lost tooth came free. Many people are put off by the thought of dental implants, in spite of the tremendous benefits it can have for a tooth loss patient. The most common reasons given for this are fear of pain or discomfort during surgery, and concerns that a dental implant procedure would be prohibitively expensive. The former can be addressed through the patient’s choice of anesthetic during the procedure, and the latter by the simple fact that a dental implant’s benefits greatly outweigh the cost.
The majority of periodontists these days who place dental implants will give you a choice between local anesthetic, and conscious sedation through intravenous injection. As a result, if you have a phobia of dentists or dental surgery, you can request sedation prior to the procedure taking place. Not only will this give you peace of mind regarding pain during surgery, but it will also prevent you from flinching or wincing unintentionally, which may knock or jog the surgeon’s hand.
If money is a concern, then the best solution is a preventative one. Subscribing to a dental plan can drastically reduce or even remove the cost of a dental implant procedure.
The benefits of a dental implant, aside from the aesthetic improvements and the resultant renewal of confidence, include longevity and reliability. Implants are designed to last a long time, integrating seamlessly with your jawbone to provide a hard-wearing and natural-feeling replacement for a lost tooth.
Success rates of dental implant procedures are around 95%, and are considered one of the most effective tooth loss repair measures available. With anesthetic strength controllable on request, and the cost greatly reduced by preventative insurance measures, this is the perfect time to look into dental implant surgery, if you have a missing tooth. Your teeth can be restored to their former glory, with the replacements having no negative effects on the surrounding teeth or gums, so go ahead – treat yourself to a smile.
For more information, contact Dr. Todd Welch at West Tennessee Periodontics and Dental Implants.