Have you recently suffered from gum disease or tooth decay? Do you have a genetic condition that affects oral health? Were you recently injured? All of these scenarios may result in tooth loss. While losing a tooth can feel embarrassing and uncomfortable, there are several reasons why replacing missing teeth is important for mental and physical wellness.
So why is it important to replace missing teeth and what are your options?
There are several options for replacing missing teeth and feeling like your best self again and several reasons why tooth replacement is always the best option. Don’t let a missing tooth wreak havoc on your health and happiness.
Tooth Loss 101
Tooth Decay & Gum Disease
Diseases such as anemia, diabetes, and even oral cancer may result in tooth loss. You may also have neglected the dentist (or your toothbrush) and developed tooth decay or gum disease as a result.
Car accidents, bike accidents, or every day falls often result in missing, broken, or chipped teeth. If you’ve suffered any major incident, hopefully tooth loss is the worst of your injuries.
Maybe you were born this way. Ectodermal Dysplasia is a common genetic condition that results in multiple missing teeth. This is typically diagnosed and treated at an early age. While not a disorder, you may simply be born missing premolars, upper lateral incisors, or wisdom teeth.
What Are Your Options?
Dental implants involve surgically mounting a metal post into your upper or lower jaw. A false tooth is then placed on that metal post to remain in place. If you’re missing one tooth or different teeth in different areas, dental implants are a great option.
While surgeries are obviously more invasive and more expensive, dental implants are long-lasting. Because they mimic a tooth’s root structure, you’re less susceptible to infection and tooth decay.
Fixed Dental Bridge
If you’re searching for a less invasive option or you’re missing several teeth in the same area, you may be a candidate for a fixed dental bridge. A fixed dental bridge bridges the gap between missing teeth with a cement prosthetic. If you’re only missing one tooth, your surrounding teeth are drilled down and the multi-tooth prosthetic is secured in place.
Fixed dental bridges are less expensive than implants and they look like real teeth. However, because the procedure involves drilling away tooth structure from surrounding teeth, the teeth without proper structure are more susceptible to tooth decay which can result in further tooth loss.
When someone says dentures, do you think retirement home? Think again. Dentures are a great option for those missing most or all of their teeth. But if you’re only missing a few, you can also try removable partial dentures.
A partial denture is a retainer-like metal and plastic adhesive with one or two false teeth attached. While less expensive than surgical options, partial dentures sometimes cause bone loss around the area due to the absence of a tooth root.
Why Is It Important?
While tooth replacements may feel elective, there’s more than just vanity at stake when it comes to missing teeth. When surrounding teeth have no contact with an opposing arch, you’re susceptible to tooth mobility and fractures, gum disease, and, ultimately, more tooth loss. And of course, missing a tooth or teeth can be detrimental to your self-esteem. You should always feel confident enough to smile.
Whether it’s a chipped tooth or several lost teeth, it’s time to put history behind you and your best foot forward. Explore tooth replacement options today.
More questions on replacing missing teeth? Dr. Hechtman has 40+ years experience in general and restorative dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, children’s dentistry and more. Contact our Walled Lake Dental Office for a Free Dental Consultation!