You might have lost a tooth at some point. Maybe it was when you were a kid, and you placed it under your pillow for the Tooth Fairy. But as adults, a missing tooth is much more inconvenient and annoying.
Losing a tooth can happen unexpectedly: during a night out, a hockey or basketball exhibition or pickup game, or just plain trauma to the mouth. Losing a tooth might remind a person how much they’ve taken their teeth for granted.
Whether you open bottles with your teeth or skip brushing here and there, a missing tooth can come out of nowhere and cause a lot of problems. Bixby Knolls Dental Group deftly treats missing teeth, and we (along with other professionals in the field) consider dental implants to be by far the best procedure to treat missing teeth. Unlike full mouth or partial dentures, as well as dental bridges, the dental implant is the only option that looks and behaves like a natural tooth.
You might not know it, but your oral health has an effect on the rest of your body. Basically, a missing tooth is like leaving a door open for bacteria to invade, causing infection and a number of other dental problems that can require costly solutions. Periodontal disease is also linked with far more serious conditions, even heart disease.
A missing tooth can also cause crowding from surrounding teeth. Your speech and eating habits can get completely thrown out of balance. When one or more teeth are lost, your remaining teeth will overcompensate, carrying more of the load when you do everyday activities like chewing and talking, which increases wear and premature damage.
Ignoring a missing tooth has additional consequences. Without necessary stimulation from the missing tooth, the jaw itself slowly starts to degenerate. During the first year of initial tooth loss, a person can lose up to 25% of their supporting jawbone structure.
There are many benefits to dealing with a lost tooth right away. Dental implants are easier to place right after tooth loss or extraction. The longer you wait, the more complicated the procedure will be. Often, the patient will have to endure bone replacement procedures, which become increasingly difficult and costly the longer you wait.
Practices like Bixby Knolls Dental Group offer a multitude of procedures, both temporary and lasting solutions to missing teeth. Options might include dental bridges, metal partials, dentures (full or partial), and, lastly, the dental implant procedure. Dentists unanimously agree that dental implants are the best long-term solution when it comes to missing teeth.
Missing one or more teeth? You can still benefit from dental implants. People who are unhappy or annoyed with their dentures might also consider implants. All-in-four procedures are becoming increasingly popular for those who wish to anchor their dentures in a more secure way. Age is not a factor for dental implant candidacy. However, smoking, diseases (diabetes, for instance), and having undergone previous radiation therapy to the area might affect dental implant success rates.
The point of the matter is, don’t let a missing tooth go untreated. Maybe your friends think it’s punk rock right now, but there’s nothing punk rock about ignoring a lost tooth. It will start to degenerate the rest of your jaw, and could result in additional damage and tooth loss. Patients can take their first step towards a restored smile by calling Bixby Knolls Dental Group to schedule a consultation.
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