Why Replace a Missing Tooth?
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If left untreated, missing teeth can result in serious problems that affect your overall oral health. It is important for you to understand the risks you take by not replacing your missing teeth. Hopefully, this knowledge will compel you to take the appropriate action. The consequences are too severe to delay in replacing your missing tooth.
Problems Caused by Missing Teeth
A missing tooth can result in the following oral health problems:
- Other teeth may shift, causing alignment problems that may require orthodontic work
- The opposing tooth can drop into the empty space, placing your jaw and bite out of alignment and creating TMD or TMJ issues
- Remaining teeth must shoulder a heavier load, making them more prone to overload-fracture
- Remaining teeth are prone to gum recession
- You may have difficulty chewing
- Your jawbone will gradually shrink to fill the gap left by the lost tooth root. This can happen even within one year and you may need a bone graft to restore your jawline.
- Your smile will be affected, potentially leading to embarrassment in social situations.
- The front teeth could spread apart because of the increased pressure on them.
- If you are missing multiple teeth, there is a correlation with a risk for increased heart disease.
What Should I Do if I Have Missing Teeth?
Denver Implant Dentist, Dr. Scott Greenhalgh will perform a thorough examination to determine the cause of your tooth loss and to detect any shifting of remaining teeth. Dr. Greenhalgh will then recommend an appropriate treatment course that will help prevent the loss of other teeth. He may recommend the use of a night guard to prevent teeth grinding or periodontal treatments to improve your gum health.
You should also replace your missing tooth as soon as possible to prevent the development of the problems listed above. Depending on your unique oral health issues, Dr. Greenhalgh may recommend either dental implants or a dental bridge.
Dental implants provide you with a permanent way to replace missing teeth. This procedure is an ideal option if you have sufficient jaw bone density to support the dental implant. When the implant has been placed, bone will grow in closely around it. This is a process called osseointegration and it takes several months. Then Dr. Greenhalgh will place an abutment post on the implant and attach a tooth crown.
Typically, dental bridges consist of an artificial tooth suspended between dental crowns placed on the two neighboring teeth.
Dental bridges are an excellent option if you do not have enough jawbone density to support a dental implant, or if the teeth adjacent to the space need dental work and may not be strong enough.
If you have a missing tooth that needs to be replaced, please contact our Denver cosmetic dentistry office today to schedule your appointment. Implant Dentist, Dr. Greenhalgh serves patients in Denver and Lakewood, Colorado.