Whether caused by periodontal disease, injury, genetic anomalies or other causes requiring extraction, missing teeth are a multi-faceted concern for patients of all ages. Even just one lost tooth can dramatically alter your appearance, affecting one’s self-esteem and willingness to smile. But it isn’t just aesthetics that worries dentists and oral surgeons. Tooth loss can eventually cause the surrounding teeth to shift out of place, causing misalignment and a host of other oral health issues that necessitate costly cosmetic and/or restorative dentistry.
At Innovative Implant and Oral Surgery, one of our primary goals is to restore our patients’ oral health to allow for comfort, proper speech, normal function, and appearance. We understand the psychological and physical stress that lost teeth can have on your life — hampering your ability to speak, enjoy your favorite foods, laugh with confidence, and communicate with ease.
If you are dealing with missing teeth, here are four compelling reasons to explore permanent tooth replacement as soon as possible.
Reduce likelihood of jawbone deterioration
Missing or extracted teeth that are not replaced with a permanent restoration such as a dental implant will eventually result in bone resorption. This is because the tissue of your jaw bone requires physical stimulation and pressure of a tooth root to remain alive and intact. Once a tooth is extracted or falls out, the underlying bone tissue will gradually begin to deteriorate.
Bone resorption leads to sunken facial features
Clinical studies indicate that within the first 12 months of tooth loss, the surrounding jawbone decreases by as much as 25 percent in overall width. Over time skeletal bone, particularly toward the back of the jaw, can also dissolve, causing the face to take on a hollow, sunken appearance. This alteration in facial features can make you look a decade older, and negatively impact self-esteem. The best way to avoid this consequence is by replacing missing teeth with dental implants, which stimulate the bone to maintain its density, shape and health.
Teeth shift out of alignment
Another reason to correct a gap in your smile is to prevent the development of malocclusion, which is another term of teeth that are not properly aligned. What was once a winning grin can slowly turn into a mouthful of misaligned teeth. In some people, this gradual tooth shifting can cause neighboring teeth to erupt abnormally, leading to increased sensitivity and the potential for tooth instability.
Lost functionality and lost quality of life
The restoration of proper function is key when replacing lost teeth. Those who are missing several teeth or an entire arch will have difficulty speaking, pronouncing certain words and chewing foods like meat, nuts and crunchy vegetables. Those who are unable to consume a well-rounded diet because of tooth loss may suffer nutritional deficiencies. And of course, tooth loss can make people very self-conscious to the point where social activities are avoided.
Restore your smile and confidence
If you have tooth loss or need to have teeth extracted, contact our Feasterville, PA office for a free consultation. We can explain various tooth replacement options designed to stop bone atrophy, restore function and preserve your smile!
- Journal of Dental Biomechanics, Alveolar ridge resorption after tooth extraction: A consequence of a fundamental principle of bone physiology https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3425398/
- Clinical Oral Implants Research, Alveolar bone resorption after primary tooth loss has a negative impact on straightforward implant https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28736870