Replacing Missing Teeth Are As Much About Oral Health as Your Appearance

Replacing Missing Teeth Are As Much About Oral Health as Your Appearance

Losing your baby teeth as a child was exciting and made for cute photos, but the same can’t be said of losing teeth as you grow older. In fact, the loss of a tooth can have a widespread effect on your overall dental health, which is why finding a suitable replacement is more than just a cosmetic concern.

Here at Ellem Dental, we offer a number of dental solutions to our patients in Richardson, Texas, who lose their teeth — giving them something to really smile about for years to come.

No backup plan

When you lost your baby teeth as a child, there was nothing to worry about, as your adult teeth were already forming in their wake. In fact, your baby teeth were simply placeholders that accomplished the tasks of teaching you how to chew and speak as their more permanent counterparts began to take shape inside your jawbones.

As your primary teeth fell out, your secondary teeth erupted in their place in order to provide you with a lifetime of service. At least that was the plan.

But life often has different plans and some of your adult teeth may have succumbed to injury or disease; either breaking, falling out, or requiring extraction. And this time there’s no replacement teeth waiting to take their place.

The domino effect

While a missing tooth can be visually displeasing, the loss can also have a cascading effect on the rest of your teeth and your overall dental health.

Let’s start with the fact that each of your teeth maintains a specific position in your mouth and, together, they create your bite and hold each other in place. When you lose a tooth, your surrounding teeth may start to shift without the support of that tooth. If the neighboring teeth shift, the others next to them may shift as well, causing movement all along the row, disrupting your bite, and jeopardizing their stability.

This shift in your bite can lead to uneven wear and even temporomandibular joint disorder, which is a painful condition that affects the hinges in your jaw on either side of your mouth.

A crumbling foundation

If shifting teeth aren’t enough to convince you, when you lose a tooth, you don’t just lose the part that’s visible. The root of your tooth comes out along with it, which leaves a hole in your jawbone.

Now consider that your bones are living tissue that need stimulation in order to regenerate cells to keep them strong. When that area of your jawbone is no longer in use, this stimulation shuts down and your bone begins to deteriorate. The net effect is that your jawbone loses bone mass, which can have a devastating effect on your overall dental health, and worsen your cosmetic concerns exponentially as your mouth develops a sunken-in look.

The replacements

Thankfully, we have plenty of options for missing teeth, including the stand-out: a dental implant. When we give you a dental implant, we mimic a new root with a metal implant to prevent bone loss in your jaw. Once your implant is fully integrated into your bone, we provide you with a crown.

Other options for missing teeth include dentures and bridges, which are effective solutions to ward against shifting teeth, but they don’t have the same advantage of stabilizing your jawbone as dental implants do.

The bottom line is that every situation is different and we’re happy to sit down with you and come up with a solution that preserves your dental health for years to come.

If you have more questions about options for missing teeth, please feel free to call us or use the online scheduling tool on this website to book an appointment.

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