If you’re missing one or several teeth, you’re not alone. According to the American College of Prosthodontists, 120 million people in the United States are missing at least one tooth due to decay, gum disease, or injury. Missing teeth can significantly impact your appearance, oral health, and general health. That’s why it’s essential to replace missing teeth as soon as possible.
Benefits of Replacing Missing Teeth
There are several benefits of replacing missing teeth:
- Restores your confidence and facial appearance: If you’ve been feeling self-conscious about the gap in your smile, restoring missing teeth can work wonders for your self-esteem. Missing teeth can also accelerate facial aging, as the cheeks can begin to sink in without the structural support of teeth. Replacing your teeth will prevent facial sagging and maintain facial structure, but it will also help give you a natural smile, restoring your self-confidence.
- Even bite: After tooth loss, the remaining teeth begin to move towards the position of the previous tooth to fill that gap naturally. This can result in the upper and lower jaw not fitting well together, meaning you will begin to experience muscle tension in the areas surrounding your jaw bone and muscles. This tension and discomfort from an uneven bite can lead to headaches and migraines. Replacing the missing tooth helps keep the others in place, ensuring you get an even bite.
- Ability to chew: Your teeth serve the crucial function of allowing you to eat and break down food for nutrition, and missing teeth can affect your ability to chew your food properly. Not only would it be devastating to miss out on eating your favorite foods, but having difficulty chewing can also impact your general wellbeing by limiting your nutrient intake.
- Improved speech: It only takes one missing tooth to impact your ability to pronounce words correctly or clearly. Replacement teeth will allow you to speak correctly.
- Better oral health: Missing teeth can put your oral health at risk, as the surrounding teeth often shift to accommodate the missing space. This may make it harder to properly clean your teeth, as you may not be able to reach all surfaces. Over time, this can lead to plaque build-up and periodontal disease. You make it easier to maintain proper oral hygiene by replacing your teeth.
- Prevent bone loss: This movement after the loss of a tooth not only causes crooked or misaligned teeth but it starts to deteriorate the bone tissue in the jaw as it decreases in density and volume due to loss of stimulation in a process called bone resorption. Replacing a missing tooth helps prevent this, ensuring that your jawbone remains strong and that the shape of your face doesn’t change.
What Options are Available to Replace Missing Teeth?
A dental bridge is ideal for people who have lost multiple teeth in a row. A fixed bridge essentially bridges a gap caused by a missing tooth using artificial teeth, which are then attached to adjacent teeth and bonded using dental cement.
A denture is a removable replacement for missing teeth and surrounding tissues. Complete dentures are used when all the teeth are missing, while a partial denture is used when some healthy teeth remain.
Dental implants are an option when you need to replace a single tooth or when you’re missing several teeth in different areas of your mouth. This tooth replacement option involves surgically inserting a titanium metal post into your jaw, and the replacement tooth (dental crown) is then mounted to the implant. Dental implants are a popular option since they replace the entire root from the root to the crown, are a permanent solution, look just like your natural teeth, stimulate bone growth, and don’t involve modification to nearby teeth.
Restore Your Missing Teeth in Indian Trail, NC
Replacing missing teeth is crucial to maintaining a functional and beautiful smile. At Indian Trail Dental Studio, we’re committed to helping you restore your smile and will carefully assess your dental health to determine which type of tooth replacement option is best for your teeth. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.