While losing a tooth never happens at a convenient time, there are more reasons than a gap in your smile to replace it quickly. Even if you have been missing a tooth for years, Dr. I. Stephen Brown can help reverse much of the damage and restore your beautiful, functional, full set of teeth.
Dangers of Ignoring Missing Teeth
The moment a tooth is lost, your mouth begins changing and before long you may be dealing with more serious health problems. Here are some of the most common results of missing teeth.
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Misalignment of remaining teeth – When you lose a tooth, the surrounding structures want to fill the gap. Your remaining teeth begin to shift and tip. It begins with the adjacent and opposing teeth, and then a domino effect occurs. This process will eventually disrupt the alignment of your entire mouth, making chewing difficult and putting other teeth at risk.
Loss of bone mass – Without the stimulation of chewing transferred through the tooth to the supporting structures, bone mass tends to disappear. After only a few months, your jaw bone can noticeably wane at the site of a missing tooth. Eventually the bone can abate enough to affect the support of nearby teeth, leading to their loss as well.
Diminished enjoyment of life – One or more missing teeth can change the way you do even the most basis of tasks without even realizing it. You may find yourself putting your hand in front of your mouth when you speak. You may avoid exposing your teeth when you smile simply because you’re self conscious about your incomplete smile. You may begin chewing using only one side of your mouth, which can lead to chronic pain in your jaw. An unhealthy smile can take a major toll on your lifestyle.
Solutions for Missing Teeth
There are several solutions to replace lost teeth, but they are not equally effective.
Bridges – There are different kinds of bridges, but they generally fill small gaps of one or two teeth. A basic bridge consists of a false tooth attached to crowns on either side. This solution restores function and aesthetics and stabilizes other teeth, but it doesn’t address the problem of bone loss. Bridges are typically a temporary solution and require the dentist to grind down health enamel on adjacent teeth.
Traditional dentures and partials – Removable dentures can look very realistic and can restore chewing function to a point. But they do nothing to preserve bone mass. As most denture wearers know, it is difficult to go a day without being reminded you’re wearing them.
Dental implants – By all accounts, dental implants are by far the best solution for replacing missing teeth. They provide a solid anchor for a single or multiple prosthetic teeth. Implants function and look like your natural teeth, stabilize other teeth, and encourages bone growth. And in many cases, they can last a lifetime, so even though the initial cost is higher than other options, they are less expensive in the long run.
Find Out Your Options for Dental Implants
Dr. I. Stephen Brown is a nationally recognized expert in treating missing teeth using dental implants. And with computer guided implants he can place them even where bone has significantly abated. Contact Dr. Brown’s office in Philadelphia to schedule a consultation and begin the process of restoring your missing teeth. You can also discuss financing and other payment arrangements to fit your budget.