Our mouths are just like the rest of our body — everything has a place. If you injure muscles in your back, everyday tasks can become much harder as other muscles try to compensate. Sometimes we can cope, and other times we cannot, and things slowly change for the worse until our original balance is returned.
It’s often the same situation with our mouths. They are finely-tuned ‘chewing machines’ and losing a tooth can sometimes alter our oral health. In my professional experience, when there is a gap in a smile, nearby teeth may occasionally move out of place and the bone might resorb. Depending on the location of the tooth or number of teeth missing, this movement may alter your appearance, your ability to chew comfortably, your ability to speak, or the alignment of your jaw1.
I saw an instance like this in my own family. My dad, a 70-year-old man, needed a molar tooth removed last year. We have both been very busy and didn’t quite get around to finding a solution for the missing tooth. Unfortunately, this new gap has at least partially contributed to the weakening of some surrounding teeth and now another tooth on the same side has broken. This is one reason why he is now exploring dental implants* as a possible solution for his missing teeth.
As dentists, we want to be able to maintain your natural teeth for life, but it is not always possible. If the unfortunate situation arises where a tooth is lost — recently or many years ago — dental implants* may be an option.
A titanium dental implant essentially ‘replaces’ the original tooth root. A custom porcelain tooth is placed on top of the implant, potentially improving the look and function of your smile. Unlike a denture, it stays in your mouth and does not usually move or need to be taken out, making it more of a fixed solution2.
The best way to know if this is for you is to consult with a qualified dental professional. Our team has provided this treatment to many patients and can help you understand whether it’s the right solution for you. You can book in with North Queensland Family Dental for a complimentary comprehensive examination to discuss how implants could help return balance to your smile.
Written by Dr Declan Collins.
1. Better Health Channel (BHC), Victoria State Government. Orthodontic treatment. Available from: https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/orthodontic-treatment
2. Healthdirect Australia, a Council of Australian Governments. Dental implant. Available from: https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/dental-implant
*Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.