Our sedation dentists can help you explore your options for tooth replacement and restore the health and appearance of your smile.
Did you know that 178 million Americans are missing at least one tooth? Did you also know that about 40 million Americans are missing all of their teeth? This goes to show just how common missing teeth are. So, what causes missing teeth, and why is it essential to replace them? Read on as we explore everything you need to know about missing teeth.
Causes of Missing Teeth
Missing teeth can result from various factors. Here are the most common causes:
- Injury: A blow to the face or jaw can knock out one or more teeth.
- Gum Disease: Periodontitis, a severe form of gum disease, can weaken the gums and cause the teeth to fall out.
- Tooth Decay: Advanced tooth decay can weaken the tooth’s structure to the point where it falls out.
- Genetics: Sometimes, missing teeth can be attributed to genetics, such as congenitally missing teeth or an underdeveloped jaw.
The Risks of Missing Teeth
Missing teeth can negatively affect your overall health and quality of life. Here are some of the dangers of missing teeth:
- Shifting Teeth: When there’s a space in your mouth, the surrounding teeth can shift to fill the gap, leading to misaligned teeth and bite problems.
- Bone Loss: Teeth stimulate the jawbone and help to maintain its density. When a tooth is missing, the jawbone can start to deteriorate, leading to a sunken appearance in the face.
- Difficulty Eating: Missing teeth can make it challenging to eat certain foods and lead to nutritional deficiencies.
- Speech Impairment: Missing teeth can affect how you speak and lead to a lisp or other speech impediments.
Common Restorations for Missing Teeth
If you’re missing one or more teeth, you may be wondering about your replacement options. Fortunately, several common restorations can help restore your smile and ability to chew and speak properly.
Here are some of the most common restorative solutions for missing teeth:
- Dental Implants – This is the most popular and effective restorative option for missing teeth. They are small titanium posts surgically placed into the jawbone to replace the missing tooth root. Once the implant has fused with the jawbone, an abutment, and a custom-made dental crown are attached to the post to create a natural-looking and functioning replacement tooth. Dental implants are durable, long-lasting, and require no special maintenance beyond regular brushing, flossing, and dental checkups.
- Bridges – Dental bridges are a popular option for replacing one or several missing teeth. A dental bridge consists of one or more replacement teeth (pontics) anchored to adjacent natural teeth (abutments) or dental implants. The pontics are typically made of porcelain or ceramic materials that mimic the look and feel of natural teeth. Dental bridges can help restore your ability to chew and speak properly and prevent adjacent teeth from shifting out of place.
- Removable Dentures – A removable denture is a prosthetic device that fits snugly over the gums. Dentures can be a good option for patients missing all their teeth.
The Dental Anesthesia Center Can Help
At The Dental Anesthesia Center, we understand how important it is to replace missing teeth. Our sedation dentists can help you explore your options for tooth replacement and restore the health and appearance of your smile. Whether you’re considering dental implants, bridges, or dentures, we’ll work with you to find the best solution for your needs. Schedule your appointment today and take the first step towards a healthier, happier smile.
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The Only Board Certified Dental Anesthesiologists in the State of Missouri, including the St. Louis Metro Area.