Implants - Getting to the root of the problem
Inge F. had her smile wiped off her face:
She had a car accident and lost a front tooth and was desperately
looking for a way to replace the tooth, so that it would
look natural. A bridge was out of the question for her – what
discouraged Inge F. about this solution was the fact, that
in order to insert such a tooth replacement, the healthy
teeth need to be filed. In order to maintain her healthy
teeth and to close the gap as ‘invisibly’ as
possible, she ended up deciding to have a tooth implant,
a synthetic tooth root made from titanium. In this instance,
it is not necessary to file the neighbouring teeth as the
placed titanium root serves as an anchor for the synthetic
crown. Inge F. has got her smile back – with a tooth
replacement, which looks and functions perfectly.
Back teeth are usually affected first
with an accident, cavities or gum disease are the main causes
of tooth loss. It is usually the back teeth,
which are affected, and due to their grinding function they
are the jaw’s most important teeth. The loss of one
of the back teeth doesn’t initially affect one’s
speech or smile – a reason why patients often avoid
replacing the gap. But this decision can have later repercussions:
the neighbouring teeth start to move over the gap, which
in turn means more and more teeth start moving. At some
stage there is nothing left in its right place and the ‘bite’ is
out of line. The patients then usually suffer from jaw ache,
chewing problems and lose even more teeth due to the wrong
and overcompensating bite. In addition, the jawbone begins
to degenerate as it is missing pressure from chewing, which
is normally carried by the tooth root.
Titanium roots help to keep jawbones healthy
So what can patients do to stop changes to their teeth
and jawbones? Conventional tooth replacements, as for instance
a bridge, can at least prevent the neighbouring teeth moving
into the gap and thus all teeth moving. However in order
to prevent the degeneration of the jawbone, the tooth root
must also be replaced and not just the crown. Therefore,
tooth implants should be the choice of tooth replacement.
As the implants grow into the jawbone like the real root,
the pressure from chewing can be transferred directly to
the bone, thus maintaining its strength.
If more teeth are missing a bridge is fitted
the older you get the more teeth are likely to fall out
and therefore a bridge is necessary. In order
to secure this type of tooth replacement, every tooth next
to the gap, must be filed. They serve as ‘pins’ and
carry the bridge. All the pressure from chewing falls onto
these teeth. It is not surprising therefore, that at one
stage or other, this extreme pressure forces the pins to
weaken. Supporting one’s own teeth by inserting a
tooth implant, which serves as an additional ‘pin’,
can prevent this process. The best solution is of course,
a bridge, which is solely supported by implants. In this
case, the neighbouring teeth do not have to be filed, as
they are not needed as a support mechanism.
Dentures – many people cannot get used to
Sometimes it is unavoidable – if a lot
of teeth are missing, a part or complete set of removable
necessary. For many patients a long road of suffering begins.
Their dentures make them feel older than they really are
and they are scared of being identified as having false
teeth. Everything becomes more difficult, whether it be
speaking, laughing, eating or even kissing.
Tooth implants can stabilise a denture considerably
is not only the psychological situation that can sometimes
affect a person with dentures. It is also the jawbone, which
can cause problems in the future as it begins to shrink.
This happens for two reasons: Firstly, there are wide gaps
where there are no longer any roots in the bone and secondly,
the denture is held by the gums and therefore the jawbone.
The result being that the bone starts to degenerate and
over time, the whole jaw loses its shape. The fit of the
denture worsens, the patient’s quality of life is
reduced, and eating and speaking becomes more and more difficult.
For the person with a partial denture that can mean that
the increased pressure on the remaining teeth ultimately
results in further loss of teeth. At this stage, tooth implants
can help to stabilise the denture – to do this, four
titanium implants can often suffice. At the same time, the
implants ensure that the jawbone receives the correct chewing
stimulation, which is essential for it to remain strong.
Tooth implants are the safest and most natural alternative
to real teeth. They often provide a solution when conventional
tooth implants have been pushed to their limits. For many
people, this can improve their quality of life immensely.