The Value of Teeth Replacement

Couple SmilingMaybe you have lost just one tooth or you are missing teeth in the back of your mouth. It is not causing you pain or embarrassment, so it must be okay to just leave it alone, right? Not so fast. There are multiple reasons why it is not a good idea to ignore your missing teeth – even if it doesn’t show when you smile.

Leaving gaps between your posterior (back) teeth can create problems with surrounding teeth, gums, bone and jaw muscles. While these missing back teeth may not be visible to others, they can still cause just as many consequences when it comes to the health and function of your smile.

Shifting Teeth

If you do not replace a missing tooth, the adjacent or surrounding teeth will begin to shift. This causes bite misalignment, which compromises your chewing and jaw function. Patients may even start to suffer from painful TMJ disorders. Furthermore, your adjacent teeth may start to withstand abnormal pressures, resulting in early wear and tear on the tooth surfaces. Shifting teeth caused by not replacing gaps in your smile can also make it more difficult to chew your food.

Bone Loss

One consequence that many patients aren’t aware of is the way that missing teeth can cause bone loss in your jaw. Without a tooth root, your jaw bone is not properly stimulated. This results in bone loss and atrophy within your jaw over time. Eventually, patients may suffer from premature facial aging, which is when the bone loss has caused a sunken facial appearance.

Dental Implants are the Best Solution

While there are several options for replacing missing or damaged teeth, Dream Dentist agrees that dental implants are the best solution in most cases. This durable, free-standing restoration is the most natural tooth replacement option available. It does not compromise your adjacent teeth and it can act as an artificial tooth root to prevent jaw bone loss. Dental implants are designed to last a lifetime and they require the same care as the rest of your healthy, natural teeth.

For more information on dental implants and how they can prevent the costly oral health problems associated with missing teeth, please call our O’Fallon office today.