If you have lost a permanent tooth, the missing tooth can significantly impact the look of your smile. However, by having a dental implant installed in place of the missing tooth, you can lessen the chance that the lost tooth will have long-term effects on your appearance. Here are a few ways that an implant-based tooth replacement can salvage your looks.
The Implant-based Restoration Fills the Gap In Your Smile
The dental implant is installed in the place along the gums where the lost tooth once resided. Although the implant is placed in the jawbone, the device does not extend well beyond the gums into the oral cavity. Thus, additional restorative devices are needed to complete the restoration.
The implant replaces the roots of the missing tooth. However, an abutment and a dental crown are added to the implant to complete the tooth replacement. Once the dental crown is in place, the gap in your smile that was left by the lost tooth is filled.
The Implant Helps Stop Jawbone Shrinkage
Your facial appearance is also affected by the size of your jawbone. As your jawbone shrinks, the soft tissues of your face may not have the underlying support needed for your cheeks and other facial components to remain youthful looking. Instead, your face may begin to look worn and aged.
The jawbone's density may decline once a tooth is lost. The teeth transfer bite pressure to the bone to stimulate the production of additional bone cells. When a tooth is missing, no pressure is transferred to the jawbone at the extraction site, and the bone may begin to shrink in that area.
Because a dental implant is placed in the bone of the jaw, an implant-based restoration still transfers the pressure needed to support the healthy production of new jawbone cells.
A Dental Implant Helps Keep the Teeth From Shifting
The additional space in the mouth from a lost tooth can allow adjacent teeth to shift out of position. The amount of shifting may be based on the length of time that the gap in the mouth remains unfilled. Still, once the teeth move about, a dental misalignment may occur, affecting the look of your smile.
The crooked teeth can be corrected orthodontically. However, by having a dental implant placed soon after a tooth is lost, the dental migration can be avoided.
If you are interested in receiving a dental implant, schedule a consultation with a cosmetic dentist in your local area.