Nobody wants to have teeth missing for a prolonged period of time, but sometimes life gets in the way and months or even years go by before you try to get a replacement. If this sounds like you, there's a good chance that you could need dental spacers before you can have your implants set up. Read on to learn more about dental spacers and why you need them.
When Teeth Go Missing
When a tooth falls out of your mouth, the trauma doesn't quite end there. The teeth that are your missing tooth's neighbors often change alignment after a tooth is lost. This is because the neighboring teeth often absorb more pressure from your bite since the pressure is no longer evenly distributed by having a full row of teeth.
If a tooth isn't replaced fairly quickly, it can cause the neighboring teeth to begin to lean into each other. If this goes on long enough, there may not be enough space for a dental implant to replace your missing tooth anymore.
Fixing the Problem
Thankfully, full braces are typically not necessary for a problem like this, unless you're missing many teeth. Instead, dentists can use spacers to gently encourage teeth to move in the opposite direction. If you've ever had braces, you've probably worn orthodontic spacers in the past. They're custom-made to ensure that your teeth move to exactly where your dentist needs them to be. This is a gradual process, since forcing a tooth out of alignment too quickly could damage the tooth and cause a great deal of pain.
While you might not be keen on waiting, the good news is that most dentists can perform your dental spacing after they've installed the post for your dental implant. This means you can be having your teeth adjusted while waiting for your gums to heal around the implant's post, so there's really no time wasted.
Once your teeth have moved out of the way, you'll be ready to have your dental implant post topped with a brand-new crown. When the crown is finished being put on top of the post, you're completely ready to go. No further dental work or downtime is needed.
Having to go through an extra step for dental implants is worth it. However, if you lose teeth in the future, hurry into your dentist's office sooner rather than later to avoid needing dental spacers.