What Causes Missing Teeth?
It is natural to lose all of your baby teeth to make room for your permanent teeth. Once you develop your full set of permanent teeth, it is important to protect them. It is important to note that you only get one set of permanent teeth, so establishing proper dental health habits is key to their health and function.
Aside from the normal process of losing baby teeth to make room for the permanent teeth, these are the various causes of tooth loss.
- Gum Disease: Studies show that gum disease is one of the leading causes of tooth loss in adults. In advanced stage gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, the bone is compromised and can no longer support the teeth. The teeth begin to shift and eventually fall out due to bone loss and inflammation in the gums.
- Tooth Decay: Tooth decay can compromise the health and function of the teeth. If tooth decay is left untreated it may result in the need for extraction or premature tooth loss.
- Dental Trauma: Contact sports or accidents all constitute as dental trauma. Wearing a custom fit mouthguard during contact sports can help reduce your risk of a knocked out tooth.
Why Replace Missing Teeth?
Missing teeth are not purely a cosmetic issue, but they are also a function and dental health issue. Even just one missing tooth can affect the way you chew and speak. Replacing missing teeth is key to restoring beauty function, and health to your smile.
Leaving missing teeth untreated has both short and long term effects on your smile. For instance, when a tooth is lost, the remaining teeth shift as an attempt to fill the void the missing tooth left behind. This can lead to crooked and misaligned teeth, as a result of tooth loss.
In addition, tooth loss can compromise the health and function of the jaw bone. Similar to the muscles, the bone in the jaw must be constantly stimulated to avoid deterioration. When the bone isn’t stimulated, the jaw bone begins to weaken until it can no longer support the teeth. In the event of bone density loss in the jaw, the teeth begin to weaken and shift, which may inevitably lead to future tooth loss.
Missing teeth may also lead to:
- Dental pain
- Difficulty chewing and speaking
- Abnormal and imbalanced bite
- Increased risk of tooth decay and gum disease
Leaving missing teeth untreated can cause a domino affects of dental health issues. It is best to replace missing teeth as soon as possible to reduce the risk of future complications.
How Are Missing Teeth Replaced?
If you are missing one or more teeth, it is imperative that you find the best solution to replace them. There are numerous replacement options available, and the type of replacement you receive is dependent on numerous factors. Discovering the most suitable treatment option for you will depend on the condition of tour remaining teeth, gums, and bone structure.
After a thorough consultation and an in-depth discussion of your dental goals, we will build your personalized treatment plan.
Dental Implants: One of the most modern solutions for missing teeth is the dental implant. Uniquely designed to replace the natural tooth root, an implant restores stability and function to the smile. Implants closely resemble the look and feel of the natural tooth, making them the ideal solution for lost teeth. Implants are surgically placed into the jaw point and are used to support a crown, bridge, or denture.
Dentures: Dentures are either removable or fixed into place using dental implants or cement. Dentures replace a full mouth of missing teeth, while a partial replace a full arch of missing teeth. For a more secure and comfortable solution, many patients choose implant secured dentures. Traditional dentures are typically the least expensive solution for missing a full mouth of teeth.
Dental Bridges: A dental bridge is used to replace gaps of missing teeth. Depending on a patient’s needs, a bridge may be fixed into place using the adjacent teeth, or dental implants. The most common type of bridge is made up of two dental crowns and a false tooth, which is positioned to fill the gap left behind by a missing tooth. An implant secured dental bridge offers a long-lasting, natural-looking solution for patients missing one or several teeth.
To learn more about your tooth replacement option, visit our Charlotte dentist office.