We have an epidemic in our society today and most people aren’t even aware of it.  It’s not necessarily classified as a disease but the effects to a person’s life can be extreme, especially if it is ignored.  This epidemic affects the 65 and older demographic more than any other.

What is it?  TOOTH LOSS.

 Gum disease and decay are still leading causes of tooth loss, but the greatest reason for subsequent tooth loss is the lack of support from previously lost teeth and the deterioration of the bone that hold the remaining teeth in place.  This is the primary reason that you should replace missing teeth and do it with an implant.

There are basically three types of dental implants but for the sake of this article, we are going to be talking simply about one type: the single tooth dental implant.  The other two types you have probably heard of are called “All-On-Four” and “All-On-Six” dental implants, which are really hybrid dentures mounted on an implant post in the mouth.  A single tooth implant is a titanium implant placed into the area where the tooth is missing with a porcelain restoration being placed on top of it to replace the missing tooth.

Once a single tooth is lost, many times the teeth on either side of it follow not too far behind.  You can replace it with a bridge or partial which will provide a decent chewing surface.  However, these two options do not support the remaining teeth and can even cause the others to be lost as well due to the strain that is added to them from a bridge or partial.

When too many teeth are lost, this can produce changes in the facial structure that will cause you to look older than you really are.  You will begin to lose bite force and chewing can become more difficult.  Not to mention that if the tooth loss is in a prominent place toward the front of your mouth, it affects the way your smile looks.

What Are The Short-Term Effects of Tooth Loss?

The short-term effects are pretty minimal.  If the tooth is lost or extracted, the pain and any infection can be dealt with.  If they are lost in the front part of the smile, the effects then become cosmetic also.

You could experience discomfort in eating on the side of your mouth where the tooth is missing.  This is mitigated by chewing on the other side. You may want to go ahead and get a bridge, but this doesn’t solve the long-term problems.

What Are The Long-Term Effects of Tooth Loss?

 The long-term effects are much more challenging and can be severe for some.  When the tooth is lost, the bone begins to deteriorate immediately.  The teeth on either side take on additional strain.

This will lead to additional tooth loss and bone deterioration. Because your facial structure changes, you may become embarrassed about the “sunken in” look you have as a result.

If you have a single missing tooth, the best option to prevent all this from occurring is a single tooth dental implant.  When the implant is placed, bone begins to grow around it and the teeth on either side will stop moving.  This will stabilize the structure of your teeth and prevent other teeth from falling out.

Our tendency is to wait as long as we can before fixing these problems, but this is one time you don’t want to do that. If you wait, more teeth may fall out, the expense is more and the hardship on your ability to eat and chew your foods is greater.  Prevention is very key when it comes to tooth loss.

If you have a missing tooth, call our office today for a consultation.  Let’s see what is going on and we will help you with the very best information we can in making a quality decision about an implant.

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