When a person is missing teeth, the cosmetic issue may be the least of his or her worries. True, missing teeth are unattractive and may cause you to hide your smile, but there are bigger health issues involved. Missing teeth can cause long-term medical problems for your overall health as well as your oral health.
The most common danger of not replacing missing teeth is bone loss. The roots of the missing tooth are no longer embedded in the bone, so the bone no longer has a purpose and begins to deteriorate. When this happens with one tooth, it will spread and more teeth can be lost. Missing teeth mean there is no support to your cheeks and they begin to sag. The place where the tooth used to be could fill with food debris and bacteria, causing gum disease and tooth decay.
When you have missing teeth, you will not be able to chew properly and may begin avoiding certain foods. This could mean you do not get proper nutrition, which will have a negative impact on your overall health. Missing teeth could also affect the way you speak. You may not be able to pronounce words correctly.
There are several treatments for missing teeth, but the best by far are endosseous implants. Endosseous means inside the bone, and that is where the titanium root is placed. It is similar to an actual tooth root, and when it is placed inside the bone, the jaw accepts it and grows new bone around the titanium post. This is called osseointegration. It is why an implant functions and looks like a natural tooth.
Once the bone has fused with the new root, a permanent cap or crown is put on top of the post. Your gums will gradually grow around the cap, and it will look like a natural tooth. Your new tooth is very strong and may last for years or decades. You care for it the same way you care for your natural teeth. It will not move or shift when you eat or talk and you never take it out.
Endosseous dental implants can have a big, positive impact on your self-confidence. Your appearance may affect the way you feel, which can affect the way you interact at work or in society. During a consultation at the office of Samuel F. Jirik, DDS in Cabot, AR, your teeth will be examined along with any gaps between your teeth. There may be several options for filling those gaps, and our cosmetic dentist will help you understand your options.
The longer you wait to replace missing teeth, the more bone you lose. Saving bone and replacing missing teeth is not a difficult problem if it is attended to early. Endosseous implants may be the best option for you to regain maximum oral health. Dr. Jirik also serves the Little Rock, AR and surrounding cities. Contact his office today to schedule your dental appointment.