Dental Implants: The Decaying Tooth… Giving it new life
Life offers us all a second go at enjoying perfect teeth after we have carelessly let go of the first deciduous set of milk teeth. In fact, the fall of the first milk tooth is even celebrated. The tooth is carefully preserved under a pillow in anticipation of a tooth-fairy leaving a dime or two in return! However, things can be quite uncomfortable, embarrassing, annoying and even painful if the teeth of the second(permanent)dentition are lost to decay and disease. How you wish, a third dentition could then be possible! Read on to find out more!
This article may very well be applicable to the younger lot too, but will certainly be so to the young at heart, yet senior by calendar age. So those of us who have a tooth or more lost to dental or gum disease, as well as those having elderly parents unable to chew their food due to the same, here’s a chance to enjoy one’s favorite foods & get back a fresh new lease of zest in life. Courtesy the advanced science of dental implants.
No more Dentures in a Glass of Water
About 3 decades ago, it was common to accept the fateful loss of one’s teeth. One was ok with improper chewing, diminished taste & texture perception of your favorite foods. And thus accepting the consequent myriad digestive & nutritional deficiency diseases that would ensue thereon! Dental difficulties associated with old age were inevitable. The most that was available in terms of teeth replacement were loose, floating removable dentures. Dentures that would pop out from the mouth into your lap during even mild activities of the jaw. Stored in a glass of water at night and in the mouth by the day!
There was a large void to be filled with a marvel of biological science & technology. This marvel which could mimic a natural tooth almost perfectly, in appearance, feel & function! That’s when dental Implants came in as the celebrated heroes to get people out of their miseries.
The Efficiency of a Dental Implant
Dental implants are an artificial tooth root, usually of titanium, which replaces a missing tooth or teeth, thereby restoring appearance, form, and functionality to the likeness of the tooth it stands to substitute. The similarity in appearance and chewing efficiency between a natural and a implants tooth. Makes it impossible for a person to tell the difference between the two. An implanted tooth can replace any tooth of the mouth, be it an appearance-centric front incisor or a food-grinding molar. The accidental discovery of the body tissues growing harmoniously around titanium led to it being recognized as the most bio-friendly material available. The body treating it as a part of its own rather than rejecting it as a foreign object.
An implant has several advantages as opposed to a tooth replacement with a bridge. Bridges require indiscriminate grinding of adjacent healthy teeth to hold the missing tooth, thus damaging their life-span in an attempt to bring back the lost tooth. Also, the replaced tooth relies on the support offered by the roots of the adjacent teeth, thereby overloading them in the long run and the resultant collapse in the years to come. Both these are tremendous advantages with Implants, with regards to safety and preservation of the remaining teeth.
Why do we need to replace a lost tooth one might ask?
Well, I love explaining this with two simple analogies:
Firstly, imagine a castle or a pyramid of playing cards which we all have enthusiastically built many times in our childhood. What if a card from the lot slips out? The entire architecture comes crashing down, right! Our teeth, jaw joints and muscles governing jaw movements, function in an intricate balance. If one element is dysfunctional or disturbed, a vicious cycle of events ensues due to overload, drifting of teeth, overuse of one half of the jaw resulting in the downfall of the entire masticatory apparatus.
Secondly, imagine your grinding teeth(molars) to be 4 employees in a company. If one employee or more is perpetually absent, the workload of the remaining ones increases. Sometimes beyond comfort, until finally they resign or quit too. Our chewing machine responds in much the same manner!!
Dental Implants– The Bramhastra
People with their teeth and chewing intact will never know what life is for those who have lost most or all of their teeth. Taking simple daily pleasures of enjoying the taste, texture, and consistency of food for granted is common until you become part of the other unfortunate half. For those who have been dentally crippled due to ill-fitting, rocking and painful dentures. Dental implants have come as a ‘bramhastra’ to abandon all their worries. Dental implants provide fixed teeth, just like natural ones. So that nobody has to live a life with their teeth in a glass of water!
There is no upper age limit. So long as the general health condition of the patient allows a minor dental procedure. Also, a fair level of manual dexterity to maintain oral hygiene is possible on the part of the recipient.
Watch out for these
Certain situations that are not favorable for success with implant therapy though are:
🔸Individuals below 18 years of age, as the jaws are still growing, so the position of the teeth may shift, relative to the implanted tooth.
🔸Individuals with uncontrolled diabetes
🔸Blood Clotting abnormalities or Hemophilic.
Except for these few situations, Implant Dentistry has really revolutionized the way the world smiles and chews. Implants can be safely claimed as the closest, man-made teeth have ever come to the God-made. Until growing a tooth out of the jaw bone becomes common practice, Dental implants will enjoy a Gold-Standard therapy status for people with missing teeth!