Do you need to replace teeth? Even the loss of one tooth can present a multitude of challenges, both restorative and cosmetic. Advanced age is a leading risk factor for losing teeth. Over years and decades, our jawbone density naturally lowers. The chances of gum disease or tooth decay compromising a tooth also increase with age. Ignoring missing teeth can lead to consequences for your oral health and the aesthetics of your smile. Long term chewing difficulties are common with tooth loss.
Why do Adults Lose Teeth?
There are many reasons an adult may lose a tooth. Dental trauma, such as sports injuries or car accidents, is a common cause. Other times, you may require an extraction in order to reduce crowding or due to advanced decay. Hypodontia, or the failure to develop some adult teeth can leave spaces in your smile. The most common cause of adult tooth loss is gum disease, according to the National Institutes of Health.
Gum infections are usually the result of poor oral hygiene, though sometimes hormonal fluctuations and genetics are the culprits. Patients with gum disease often exhibit red, swollen, or sore gums that bleed easily. Without treatment, gum disease may lead to loose teeth that require extraction. This is because gum disease leads to gum tissue recession that exposes root surfaces. It is much better to care for the teeth and gums you have rather than searching for ways to replace lost teeth.
Facial Collapse or bite collapse is common when people don’t replace teeth
Losing a tooth means that your surrounding teeth may drift toward the empty socket. The more teeth you lose, the bigger the space, and the more room for shifting. Eventually, you are likely to develop severe misalignment which increases your risk of stomatitis, gum disease, and TMJ issues. Missing teeth also cause the body to stop supplying surrounding jawbone tissue with vitamins and nutrients. The roots stimulate jawbone growth every time we chew. The loss of even one tooth can lead to jawbone atrophy.
Deprived of these nutrients, your jawbone will deteriorate. Loss of bone density leads to more tooth loss and a sunken appearance of the facial structure. This feature can leave individuals looking older than their actual age. Fortunately, implants are accepted by the body as natural teeth. The flow of nutrients to your jawbone will continue. Dental implants stimulate jawbone growth and prevent jawbone recession. Dental implants also prevent the loss of more teeth. With implant dentistry, your smile and your youthful features are preserved for the long term.
What is the Best Way to Replace Teeth?
The two most common ways to replace teeth is with a dental bridge or with implants.
Bridges are the most traditional tooth replacement option. They do require drilling on the teeth on either side of the open space. If the adjacent teeth are already restored, bridges may be the best option. Sometimes Maryland bridges serve as temporary bridges for front teeth while implants are being placed.
Dental implants are made from titanium posts that are inserted directly into the jawbone. The first step implant planning involves a comprehensive consultation and examination with a dentist. The dentist will make sure your jawbone tissue can support the dental posts.
Titanium posts require that candidates have adequate jawbone density. If you are found to lack sufficient jawbone mass, sinus lift surgery or a bone graft can be done. Candidates should also be free of medical conditions that could complicate oral surgery and recovery.
Impressions and measurements of your mouth will ensure that your implants fit perfectly. After your implants are permanently placed, your jawbone tissues bond with the posts. This process is called osseointegration. A porcelain crown placed on the implant can serve as a great replacement option. If many teeth have been lost, a set of full or partial dentures can be done. Dentures can be held in place with implant fixtures. They become fixed and sturdy and act like natural tooth roots.
Traditional Dental Bridges vs Implants to Replace Teeth
Patients who use removable dentures understand what wobbly or loose dentures can do. When dentures slip, it can be embarrassing. Dental implants supporting crowns and implant bridges offer superior stability because the dental crown or false teeth are anchored directly to the jawbone.
Many patients report that their implant retained crowns, fixed bridges, or removable partial dentures feel like natural teeth. If you have put off eating your favorite foods because you fear that your denture or dental bridge will shift or wobble, seek a second opinion.
Special Care for Implants
Fortunately, titanium posts are maintainable just as if they were natural teeth. Patients are advised to floss daily and brush twice each day. Implant crowns are designed to last. They are still susceptible to failure if patients use tobacco products, experience jawbone loss, or if an infection occurs.
Infection can still occur below your implants even if cavities are no longer a possibility. The best way to guard against infection and overall health is to maintain twice a year cleanings and checkups. Well cared for implant retained complete dentures will last for many years and possibly even the rest of your life. If you do have issues or concerns with your new smile,
Learn more about he best ways to replace teeth
With time, skill, and dedication to excellence, properly placed dental titanium posts have a 98 percent success rate in the lower jaw and 96 percent in the upper jaw. To learn more about replacing a single tooth or many, talk to your cosmetic dentist today. There are common mistakes that are made when planning for implants. We offer to answer your questions and if you wish, restore your best smile with the latest in quality implant dentistry.
To schedule an appointment, call our office at (847) 234-0517. Also, visit our dental website for services, testimonials, and before and after gallery. We provide our patients with general, cosmetic, and restorative dental care. Dr. Fondriest and his staff welcome patients from all of the surrounding cities of Chicago. Our practice mostly serves the Chicago metropolitan area including the North Shore and Northwest suburbs, but we often get patients from all over the United States.