Missing teeth can impact many areas of your life. The gaps not only wreak havoc on your oral and overall health but can also be the source of frequent embarrassment and lost self-esteem. Do you either never smile or automatically cover your mouth when you smile, laugh or talk? Missing teeth should be treated as quickly as possible. Learn more about why your dentist recommends replacing a lost tooth or teeth and your solutions provided by Dr. Mark Sowell.
Consequences of Missing Teeth
The biggest risk of missing teeth is jaw bone loss, leading to additional oral health problems. When teeth are missing, the underlying jaw bone is no longer stimulated and begins to recede or deteriorate. It will continue to deteriorate if no treatment is sought, making replacement options more difficult and potentially affecting other teeth. When this happens, the teeth that are left behind become less stable in the mouth and may become loose, crooked, or cause problems with jaw alignment. However, it doesn’t stop there.
Loose or crooked teeth, or a misaligned jaw, can increase your risk for gum disease. Crooked teeth are more difficult to clean, and loose teeth may allow bacteria to settle in. These teeth can also become overcrowded as the jawbone continues to deteriorate, posing a tooth fracture and decay risk.
Patients with missing teeth are more susceptible to malocclusion, jaw bone resorption, and super eruption of the opposing teeth. Having voids in your mouth will limit the food you can eat and can eventually lead to further dental issues as well.
Missing Teeth Replacement Options in Plano, TX
There are several different treatments available for people who are dealing with the consequences of missing teeth. The dentist office of Dr. Mark Sowell offers a variety of options to replace missing teeth, including implant-supported dentures, traditional dentures, dental bridges, and dental implants. Dr. Sowell and his dental team have extensive training and experience in restorative dentistry.
We will help you choose which treatment is right after a comprehensive evaluation to diagnose your specific condition and make recommendations that will offer you the most benefits.
How to Replace Missing Teeth
It is important to replace missing teeth to keep the jaw in alignment and protect the teeth from decay. Missing teeth may result in issues with bite stability and cause problems eating or speaking, so seeking treatment is important. There are several treatments available to replace missing teeth.
1. Dental Bridges
A bridge is a prosthesis (replacement part) that fills the gap left by a missing tooth and is supported by the surrounding healthy teeth. In dental terms, the artificial replacement tooth is called a “pontic” (from the French word “pont” meaning bridge). The healthy adjacent teeth — called abutments — support the pontic on either side. The completed prosthesis crosses over the gap in your teeth like a bridge spanning a canyon.
2. Dental Implants
According to tooth replacement experts, a dental implant offers people with missing teeth a permanent smile solution. A dental implant is simply a tiny post embedded in the jaw that attaches to a dental crown. The crown fills in the gap left by a lost tooth to restore your teeth’ appearance, health, and full use.
Both patients and dentists often recommend dental implants because they look, feel, and function like your natural teeth. And while the cost of dental implants may be more than other options, their many benefits make them well worth the extra dental implant costs.
3. Traditional Dentures
Dentures are a set of artificial teeth that restore functionality without dental implants. Partial dentures are ideal for people who only need a few teeth replaced or just the top or bottom arch. Full dentures replace all teeth in the mouth. Both partial and full dentures require mouth impressions and precise measurements to ensure they fit correctly.
4. Implant-supported dentures
Implant-supported dentures are full arches of missing teeth secured by a few strategically placed implants, which support gum health more than traditional dentures. Implants stimulate jaw bone growth, keeping the jaw from shrinking or changing shape over time. Traditional dentures do not offer this benefit.
Why Consider Dental Implants?
Whenever possible, Dr. Sowell will recommend dental implants to replace lost teeth. They are the most reliable treatment option and have a high success rate. They offer many benefits that affect your overall health, oral health, and quality of life. Implants are a long-lasting investment and may help to prevent the need for further advanced dental care.
The benefits of dental implants include:
- Avoids bone loss and gum recession
- Does not require the degradation of healthy teeth
- Improves the appearance of the smile and lower face
- No food restrictions
- No worry of dentures slipping or falling out
- Look exactly like your natural teeth
- Superior durability and longevity
- Improves speech
Missing Teeth FAQs
What problems can missing a tooth cause?
Missing a tooth can cause many issues for patens, the main being teeth shifting. Patients’ teeth may begin to shift into the open area when there is a gap. This can cause teeth to become misaligned.
What are my options for a missing tooth?
If you are missing a tooth, your dentist will give you many options to restore it. The most common are dental implants, bridges, and removable dentures.
Can I get a denture for one tooth?
It is very common for patients to get a denture for one tooth. This is a singleton denture. They are typically made with a gum base attached to create the illusion that it is a natural tooth.
Request a Dental Exam Today
If you are missing a tooth or have several missing teeth and are ready to replace them, you’ve come to the right place. Dr. Mark Sowell is a general, restorative and cosmetic dentist in Plano, TX who offers many options to replace missing teeth. Give us a call at (972) 382-6855 to speak with one of our dental care professionals and to schedule your next dental exam today.