Are you missing some teeth?
The consequences of losing teeth
Even many people consider losing a tooth not to be critical and not of any consequences, especially if it is not front teeth. In reality, the long term consequences of tooth or teeth lose can be serious.Losing a tooth or teeth leads to:
1- Tipping of adjacent teeth of the missing tooth leading to gum recession,bone loss around these teeth and exposure of the roots of these teeth that later will become more susceptible to cavities, sensitivities and pain.
2- Hyper-eruption of the opposing teeth toward the space created by missing the tooth since teeth move to seek contact with other teeth. That leads to exposure of the roots of these teeth, and pulling them out of their normal bone support leading to cavities and mobility of these teeth since they have less anchorage in the jaw bone as healthy teeth do.
3- Causing excessive stress on other teeth while chewing since there are less teeth to chew with and withstand the same chewing forces if all teeth were present. This will lead to fracture of stressed teeth especially the teeth with existing fillings particularly silver ones.
4- TMJ (jaw joints) and bite changes because of the tipping and shifting of the teeth leading to imbalance of your bite and putting more stress on the TMJ that leads to locking and even pain and in some cases TMJ disorder.
5- Face profile changes due to tipping and shifting of the teeth and loss of vertical dimension of teeth. This may cause changes in the facial muscles tone leading to more wrinkles. Also, speech maybe affected due to tipping of the teeth toward the tongue.
All these factors eventually lead to damaging more teeth (fractured teeth, root exposure, teeth wear, cavities) leading to more dental work (fillings, crowns, root canals, gum treatment) and some cases losing more teeth.
Treatment plan options are listed from best, long-term clinically most desirable to least long-term clinically least desirable.
The procedure is simple, and for those who are missing teeth, it can seem miraculous. A titanium tooth-form cylinder is placed in the jawbone in a simple and quick procedure. The titanium fuses to the bone, where it strengthens and stabilizes. It is then used as a support for an abutment (sub-structure) and crown, without involving unnecessary treatment on adjacent teeth.Implants have a high success rate and they usually last for (20-35) years on average.
2- Dental Bridge:
It is two appointment procedure, at the first appointment the adjacent teeth to the missing tooth/tooth will be reduced in size to accommodate for the future bridge, then a mold of the teeth will be made and sent to the lab to fabricate the bridge.
A temporary bridge will be made and cemented in place. The second appointment the final permanent bridge will be placed in placed and cemented.
The dental bridge usually last for long time (15-25 years).
3- Removable Partial Denture:
It is multiple appointments procedure, where a mold of the teeth will be made and sent to the lab, try in and final few adjustment will be made and the final partial will be placed.
The partial denture need to be replaced on average every 5 years.
They may not much comfortable to wear and have a full function, also, they are less aesthetically pleasing compared to an implant or a bridge.
Talk to your dentist about replacing any missing teeth and what treatment would be the best for you. And remember the longer you wait, more damage to your teeth and jaw will occur, and obviously the more complicated and probably more expensive/invasive your treatment will be.
For more information about teeth replacement options click here