Dental implants to Stabilise Teeth Lost Through Dental Trauma

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Trauma or injury to the mouth or jaw can have a number of unpleasant consequences, including the loss of teeth which can have many detrimental effects in the long run. In particular injuries that involve the loss of several teeth can have more severe repercussions, including, for example, the degeneration of the jawbone beneath said teeth, and a loss of chewing ability.

Dental trauma and tooth loss

Dental trauma can cause tooth loss in certain cases, and the term refers to any injuries or accidents that result in damage to part of the oral cavity. Injury can happen as a consequence of all manner of accidents, and the effects will vary hugely according to the severity of the injury and its location.

There are naturally activities and lifestyles which place one at a higher risk of dental trauma, and prominent example include people in the military service or contact sports like boxing or rugby, people with piercings in either their tongues or their lips are also susceptible as these can knock into teeth with impact and cause serious damage. Sharp changes in atmospheric pressure as experienced by divers or pilots can also sometimes cause dental injury.

There are a broad range of different classes of dental trauma, some of which can result in tooth loss. Examples include:

  • Tooth fractures – these are breakages in the tooth itself which can occur at any point on the tooth in question or the root beneath. These have a number of sub-divisions within themselves, but as a category tooth fractures include any and all breakages of the entire tooth structure.
  • Tooth subluxation –a very common dental injury in which the tooth is basically loosened and can move to some extent, while still retaining its position and anchorage to the jawbone beneath. This can usually be treated through healthy oral hygiene procedures as would be recommended by a dentist.
  • Tooth luxation – where a tooth is displaced from its original position
  • Tooth intrusion – where an injury causes the tooth to be resorbed, or effectively retracted into the gum line. This can be a consequence of injury or infection, and is a traumatic cause of tooth loss.
  • Dental avulsion is a fairly severe injury in which a tooth is completely removed from its position in the jawbone. This type of injury can be quickly remedied if the tooth is intact and available, the treatment is called replantation and needs to be performed as quickly as possible.

While not all of these dental injuries can be causes of tooth loss, many are. Dental avulsion and intrusion, for example, can lead to the permanent loss of a tooth, resulting in the need for a replacement. If multiple teeth are loss then a set of dentures may be needed to compensate for the lack of function, and in this area dental implants can offer a number of distinct advantages by stabilising any dentures placed within the mouth.

Dental implants to stabilise prosthetics replacing teeth lost through dental trauma

The purpose of a dental implant is for the tiny titanium structure to act as an artificial root, an important structural component which lends natural teeth their bite strength and stability within the jaw.

Dental implants can be used to stabilise both crowns and dentures, the two main types of artificial teeth used in modern dentistry. A crown is designed to envelop a tooth, and is typically used where infection has left it particularly vulnerable. Where injuries are concerned the main type of prosthetic involved is the denture.

Dentures exist in many shapes and sizes, and are usually tailor made to the needs of a patient who has lost some teeth. Depending on the extent of the injury and subsequent tooth loss, a denture composed of a number of artificial teeth may be necessary.

Dentures have been used for many years, however there have been distinct caveats to their use that have been successfully addressed through dental implants. Traditional dentures have lacked support which resulted in their movement around the mouth, agitating the gums and restricting the dietary habits of a patient as these prosthetics could not cope with chewy or hard foods. Implants provide the stability dentures need to act more like natural teeth, remaining in their fixed position and therefore allowing for broader dietary uses.

Dental implants offer many distinct advantages as outlined in this article, and can be beneficial to people who have lost teeth through trauma. This remarkable technology has brought artificial teeth far closer to their natural counterparts in terms of how they feel and how they are used.  

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