Written by Allison RussellIt’s one of the most common recurring nightmares—no, not that one about drowning or going outside in your underwear. It's when everything seems to be normal, and then suddenly your teeth are rotting, crumbling, or totally falling out of your mouth.This is what so many of us can recall as "the tooth loss dream." It’s been studied by many of the most brilliant minds in psychology, including Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung, so there are a number of psychological explanations for why you might be experiencing it. The tooth loss dream can indicate insecurity, loss, sexual anxiety, and a fear of aging. The most known interpretation, however, is that the unfortunate dreamers feel powerless and out of control of their lives.Many of us have experienced this symbolic lack of control during our REM cycles, but a lot of us will also go on to experience a very real lack of dental control during our lifetimes. 178 million adults in the United States are missing one or more of their permanent teeth, and we continue to lose teeth as we age. According to the CDC, 1 out of 5 people older than 55 have lost all their teeth, and 1 out of 3 people older than 85 have lost all their teeth.But this doesn’t mean we have to resign ourselves to feeling powerless. A Jungian interpretation of the tooth loss dream recognizes it as an opportunity for rebirth and renewal. Real-life tooth loss gives us the same opportunity, and we’re not limited to traditional dentures and bridges anymore! Whether you’re replacing one tooth or many teeth, dental implants can give you the same look and function of your natural teeth. Check out some of your dental implant options below.
Single Crown Implants and Partial Fixed Prostheses
If you only need to replace one tooth, a single crown dental implant will work for you. It comes in three parts. The implant itself is placed in your bone, in the site of the missing tooth. A process called osseointegration fuses the titanium implant to the bone in your jaw. An abutment is connected to the implant, and then a natural looking crown is attached to the abutment.A fixed partial prosthesis works similarly to a single crown implant. Instead, it's replacing more than one tooth with a couple implants and a small bridge. These options are better than traditional crowns and partial dentures because the osseointegration of the implants will prevent your jaw from shrinking in a process called bone resorption.
The All-on-4 treatment concept is the best way to replace all of your teeth at once. With all-on-4, only four dental implants support a full upper or lower arch of teeth. It’s sometimes called a “smile in a day,” because after a few hours of surgery you’ll leave the office with a working set of teeth. After about six months of healing and osseointegration, your dentist places your permanent set of teeth. Then, your new smile will last you a lifetime!Take care of your tooth loss today, so when you go to sleep you can dream of flying instead.