What, at my Age?
This is a phrase that frequently comes up when our resident implant expert, Dr Phil Bennett, is talking to patients about how they might want to restore a gap in their jaws. The question can arise from several angles depending on what their priorities are and what they want to achieve at the finish.
To leave a “gap” in the jaw is generally a poor decision and the consequences can be numerous as the jaw is an active and changing biological machine, your teeth don’t stay still, they move, not very much and not very fast, but generally they will tip towards the front of your mouth. This causes other issues; the tipped tooth can make changes to the way your teeth go together, sometimes causing jaw joint problems (TMD), the teeth that used to bite onto the lost tooth can “over-erupt”, eventually impacting on the opposite jaw and making it necessary to extract that tooth as well. The human eating machine is a complex and integrated unit that ideally requires all its pieces! We also know now that good chewing ability and healthy teeth have a massive impact on general health; heart, gut, blood pressure, to name a few. A lot of people will say “I can cope”, of course, we all can, but is it sensible?
If we assume that now you have decided that it would be a good idea to restore the “gap”, then more decisions are required as implants aren’t the only way to restore a gap, they are just the best. Phil has placed implants on people from the age of 16 to 92, and universally the postoperative opinion is one of money well spent. Those in the last quarter of their lives are mainly grateful for the increase in function they can derive from gaining an increased chewing ability, and the added bonus of increased health benefits, whereas those in the younger groups are more concerned by the aesthetic outcomes and the confidence of a false tooth that feels just like their own tooth.
Give us a ring find out what we can do to help you “chew” yourself back to health.