25% of Americans over 65 have lost all of their teeth. The vast majority of the population have at least two missing teeth. Because of these statistics we know that many of our patients will be faced with the loss of one or more teeth in their lifetime.
Think about how tooth loss impacts your ability to chew and your ability to smile.
Think about the impact that missing teeth have on your social life and on your career.
If you are about to lose a tooth or have recently lost a tooth (or teeth), you have an important decision to make and you are not alone. If you are faced with losing a tooth, there are generally three options to consider:
- A removable dental Partial to replace missing teeth.
- A Fixed Dental Bridge to replace missing teeth.
- A Dental Implant to replace missing teeth.
What happens if nothing is done to replace missing teeth?
When a tooth is removed the alignment of the teeth next to it start to change. This can have very expensive consequences. As the bite shifts, it can become difficult and time-consuming to repair.
Failure to replace a tooth can also cause shrinkage of the jawbone. Our jawbones primary job is to hold your teeth. When there are no teeth, our body thinks that there is no more job to be done and the bone simply dissolves away.
Once it’s gone there’s no technology to bring it back. While placing a bridge or dentures can prevent shifting, only placing implants will prevent this loss of bone.
Look at the difference between these two panoramic x-rays showing what happens when there are no more teeth.
This loss of bone has a profound effect on our facial appearance.
Patients who have no teeth will continuously lose bone. This loss needs to be made up with plastic relines to refit the dentures. In patients who don’t maintain their dentures with relines every 2-3 years, facial muscles contract and accomodate the shorter distance between their chin and nose. This change can be irreversible as the facial muscles can no longer accomodate a change in length. Even with regular relines, it often becomes impossible for a person to wear a denture later in life.
The answer is to have a plan for replacement soon after tooth loss occurs.
Look at the other pages in this section to discover what your best choice might be in your situation.
Call us now at 704-708-4402 for a complimentary consultation to find out how you or a loved one can fill those “gaps” and start to smile again!