Tooth loss, in most people, is associated to a number of factors. Some of these factors that cause tooth loss are tooth decay, gum disease or periodontal disease, injury and aging. Research done on a large group of adults, to study the increase in the number of people with one or more teeth missing revealed that more than half the group fell in this category.
Most of those with missing teeth did not bother to get a tooth replacement done because of not understanding the underlying problem of a missing tooth. Just twenty five percent were aware of the fact that the loss of a tooth could wear out the bones of the jaw causing a change in structure of the jaw line.
Consequences Of A Single Tooth Loss
Studies show that a single tooth loss could have many repercussions some of which are mentioned below:
- There would be a structural change in the jaw
- Other teeth would get relocated as even a single gap among the teeth would cause the other teeth to shift.
- There would be a change in the contour of the face; the shape of the face.
- There would be a drooping, hollow look to the jaw which is not appealing to the eye.
- This look would, in the long run, lower one’s self esteem and have a bearing on his eating behavior.
- Biting and chewing certain types of food would be a problem, like hard fruits and fibrous vegetables, causing one to miss out a person’s normal staple diet.
- There is a tendency, at such times, to eat fatty foods that are soft and easily Chew-able and to avoid hard foods that are necessary or required for the body. This leads to increase in extra weight, which is a sign of impending illnesses such as those dealing with the heart and diabetes.
Treatment Of Tooth Loss:
There are many ways to treat tooth loss, the most effective of which is dental implant. Dental implant is an alternate method to replace a missing tooth. Here an artificial ‘tooth root’ is used. These tooth roots are the basis for the artificial teeth that are either permanently fixed or can be removed. They are made to look similar to natural teeth.
Dental implant is the most preferred treatment for tooth loss for a single tooth or for more than one tooth. This is because it has shown a 98 percent success rate. Medical tests show that dental implant is most successful treatment as a replacement for lost teeth. Secondly, this surgical method allows for minimum bone loss that is why it is favored over other forms of treatment.
Dental Implant Failures due to Smoking
The introduction of dental implants to dentistry revolutionized the way people treated lost teeth. They are preferred by many and are on their way to replace dentures as they are better, comfortable and appeal aesthetically. Although, the high cost of a dental implant is still a deterrent to many, it is a blessing for many who are looking for a suitable replacement for their lost teeth.
Basically, the lost tooth is replaced by an implant which is made up of a material which closely resembles natural teeth.
A titanium screw is inserted in to the jaw bone to which it fuses (osseointegration). This titanium screw serves as an anchor point which supports the entire artificial tooth. The artificial tooth is coated with hydroxypatite which is also present in natural tooth.
Now, coming to the effects of smoking on dental implants.
Studies have found out that smoking increases the probability of rejection of a dental implant by the human body.
Although, rejection of a dental implant occurs in few cases, smoking increases this risk considerably. This finding is not completely new though. Many dentists have reported lower success rates of dental implants in smokers.
Let us now look at the reason for this failure. An ideal candidate for the implant procedure requires good healing and blood flow to make sure the gums heal properly. Smoking considerably affects the healing ability of the body and reduces the blood flow as well. Good blood flow is required for effective healing of the gum tissue. Due to this various factors, the likelihood for rejection of the implant increases.
It’s just not the implants that are affected by smoking. Other dental procedures such as tooth extraction and dental fillings (restorations were also effected).
The good part is that kicking this habit reduces these effects. The healing ability and blood flow slowly begins to return to normal levels and few studies have showed that normal levels can be regained after several years of quitting.