It’s a problem as old as mankind itself—teeth lost to decay or injury. Of course, primitive man didn’t have a solution for missing teeth. As man became more technologically savvy however, he began to address this problem in ingenious ways.
As far back as Roman days, artisans would carve false teeth out of bone or ivory. Studies of ancient Roman skeletons showed that they had high rates of decay, chipping and gum disease, all of which can contribute to tooth loss. They valued white teeth, too, using urine to brighten their smiles.
Some Roman women would have their front teeth removed for cosmetic reasons, and have replacement teeth crafted out of gold. But these days, most people try to keep their teeth, both for appearance and functionality. Sometimes, a tooth can’t be saved and must be extracted to protect the health of the patient.
There are a variety of solutions that today’s dentists can offer a patient with missing teeth. Bridges and dentures or partial dentures have been around for hundreds of years. Perhaps most famously, George Washington was the recipient of dentures, but they were not made of wood, as has been rumored. His replacements were fashioned from bone or even human teeth—sometimes his own, cemented into a black support.
Dentures are still a popular solution, especially when a person has lost all his teeth. When only a few teeth are gone, a bridge helps with appearance and chewing. But with both of these solutions, the bone under the missing teeth is subject to resorption.
As odd as it may seem, this bone needs the stimulation of biting and chewing to stay healthy.
When a patient finally receives dental implants , he or she may only then realize the inconvenience of the earlier bridge or dentures as the patient now experiences the advantages of a fixed one. Implants look and fee like natural teeth and they don’t break like a denture might. And that bone deterioration problem? With a dental implant, the bone receives the same stimulation a natural tooth would provide. This keeps the bone and surrounding tissues healthy, preventing jawbone loss.
You may not have heard much about dental implants until the last few years, but their development goes back several decades. Current techniques and materials have been refined to the point that the overwhelming majority of these procedures are problem-free. If you care for your dental implants properly, they can last the rest of your life.
With implants, you’ll look and feel just like you did when all your teeth were bright and healthy—or maybe even better. You’ll be able to eat whatever you want and there’s no interference with your speech.
If you’re missing some or all of your teeth, learn more about all the ways dental implants can improve your appearance while offering the perfect functional replacement for missing teeth. You don’t have to struggle with inferior substitutes or worry about the long-term effects on your bone. We’ll be happy to answer your questions—just give StarBrite Dental, the Office of Dr. Maryam Seifi, a call.