What Happens If Missing Teeth Are Not Replaced?
Did you know that the average adult between 35 and 49 is missing seven teeth? Up to four of these may be wisdom teeth, but this still means most adults are living without at least three of their natural teeth. It’s likely that at some point in the future, you’ll face the loss of a tooth, and will need to determine how to replace it. What’s your best option?
Ideally, each missing tooth will be replaced with a dental implant, which is the closest option to a natural tooth, is permanent, and promotes a healthier jawbone. However, sometimes dental implants aren’t a good option for a variety of reasons. In those cases, there are a number of other options to consider as well.
The Consequences Of Missing Teeth
It can be tempting to avoid replacing a lost tooth, either because of the expense or a dislike of the dentist. But if the gap in your mouth is ignored, your other teeth will eventually start to shift, leading to bite alignment problems, uneven tooth wear from friction while chewing, and jaw pain or TMJ. A gap in your smile can reduce your self-confidence and may even make it difficult to eat comfortably or speak clearly.
Probably the worst consequence of not replacing a missing tooth is that your body will start to absorb the jawbone that once surrounded that tooth’s root. This deterioration causes pain and can eventually change the shape of your face. Avoid this serious and uncomfortable problem by talking with your dentist about the best replacement solution for your missing tooth.
Dental Implants: Only Tooth Loss Solution That Prevents Jawbone Loss
Dental implants are usually the best solution for tooth loss. They artificially replace both a root and crown and are inserted into the jawbone in a surgical procedure. Because the artificial root prevents the body from recognizing that a tooth is missing, the jawbone is protected and bone loss is prevented.
Dental implants are popular, and with good reason! They are extremely successful, durable, and require minimal maintenance other than good hygiene and professional dental cleanings. They also feel comfortable and look natural. Since dental implants require surgery and are a permanent solution, they are more expensive initially. However, they are usually the most cost effective in the long run.
Dental Bridges: An Affordable Option To Close The Gaps In Your Smile
Dental bridges are another popular option for replacing lost teeth. They look natural, are easy to maintain, and cost less than dental implants. There are a couple of different types of bridges for different situations.
Implant Supported Bridge
This type of bridge can restore multiple missing teeth that are right next to each other. Essentially, it is a combination of a bridge and implants. The replacement teeth on either end are inserted into the jawbone like a regular implant, but are fused to additional crowns that fill in the gaps of the missing teeth between the implants. This type of bridge provides excellent aesthetic results and will last for many years before it needs to be replaced. It is limited to situations where missing teeth are adjacent, and requires multiple visits to complete the procedure.
This is a popular and less invasive alternative to implants, especially when just one tooth needs to be replaced. It is made of two crowns which are fitted onto the teeth on either side of the gap with a specially made crown in the middle which replaces the missing tooth. It is then cemented into place.
A tooth supported bridge is one of the most cost-effective ways to replace a missing tooth. Maintenance is easy – just brush and floss as normal, and visit your dentist regularly for routine cleaning. Since there is no surgical process involved, bridge insertion is low risk.
Removable Partial Dentures & Complete Dentures
Designed to replace one or more missing teeth, dentures are a widely used option that are made of acrylic with a metal framework. Partial dentures will replace one or two missing teeth, while complete dentures are used when an entire arch of teeth is missing or has been removed.
Dentures offer the advantage of being much less expensive than bridges or implants and are a fast, non-invasive procedure. However, they are less comfortable than other dental devices, require daily cleaning, and need to be replaced fairly often. Dentures may be a good option for people whose natural teeth cannot support a bridge, or who do not want implant surgery.
Consult Your Dentist To Find The Best Teeth Replacement Option For You
If you have a missing tooth that needs replacement, schedule an appointment with an experienced dentist who can walk you through the options and help you determine which may be best for you. If you live in Bethpage or Hicksville, you can visit the professional staff at Bethpage Smiles Family Dental. Not only will you be promoting your oral health, but replacing a missing tooth will also relieve pain and boost your self-confidence! Give them a call today to make an appointment: (516) 490-7707
This guest blog is courtesy of Aesthetic Dentistry Of Arrowhead, a professional cosmetic dental office located in Glendale, Arizona.
Bethpage Smiles Family Dental – Dr. Krupali Shah