Do you have a missing tooth? You aren’t alone. More than 120 million Americans have at least one missing tooth, with over a third of that number having no teeth at all. To learn why it is important to replace missing teeth as quickly as possible and the options available, keep reading.
Why Replace a Missing Tooth?
If you lose a tooth that affects your smile, you might smile less and avoid people out of embarrassment. But, beyond the possible effect on your smile, other, seemingly unrelated oral health issues could result.
For example, a single missing tooth can lead to bone and gum loss in your jaw, which affects the well-being of all your other teeth. Your facial features may change, prematurely aging you. Missing teeth may make it more difficult to eat and could create speech impediments. Missing teeth increase your risk of gum disease, which, if untreated, could lead to further tooth loss, heart disease, and more. For these reasons, doing nothing as an option for a missing tooth is not a wise or healthy choice. It is important that you act.
How Can a Missing Tooth Be Replaced?
At Friendly Family Dentistry, we offer choices depending on your circumstances and needs.
Dentures — When you are missing all your teeth or several in a row, dentures may be an option. If the bone is healthy, new methods and technology now allow even full dentures to be fixed in place with a few dental implants for extra durability and stability.
Bridges — A bridge is just what it sounds like, a method to bridge the gap caused by a missing tooth or teeth. A natural-looking artificial tooth, or pontic, is attached to crowns, which are then cemented into place on the adjoining teeth.
Dental implants — When you have one tooth or just a few teeth missing, the dental implant provides the look and feel of natural teeth and can last for decades, without needing to be repaired or replaced. This method most closely mimics the missing natural tooth because it consists of a “root” — a titanium post surgically implanted in the jaw bone — and a natural-looking crown that is connected to it.
We are all about prevention — we believe that simple precautions and habits can help prevent or reduce tooth loss. However, when the loss of a tooth can’t be avoided, you need to take the appropriate steps. Call our office today to schedule an examination to determine the replacement option that works best for you and get on track to getting your smile back!