Tooth loss can happen due to many different situations. One of the most common reasons for tooth loss is gum disease. You may also lose teeth as a result of tooth decay, facial trauma, or bruxism. No matter how it happens, the loss of multiple teeth can have a significant impact on your oral health due to the consequences of missing teeth. Your appearance, your confidence, and the functions of your mouth are all affected. Additionally, tooth loss makes eating and speaking more difficult, a loss of bone mass in the jaw, and a change in shape and alteration of your bite.
Why Is It Important To Replace Missing Tooth?
A missing tooth can cause havoc with your oral health. You may want to ignore it, after all, you have so many more teeth, but, the evidence is clear.
For some, a missing tooth can have a large impact on their aesthetic, but for all, a missing tooth will lead to other problems. Gaps in our teeth leave room for neighboring teeth to roam. Teeth can drift into that spot causing changes and adjustments to your bite.
Known as a malocclusion, a bad bite can be very problematic. Malocclusions can cause pain or discomfort with your jaw, some patients experience problems opening or closing their mouths correctly, some patients experience facial pain in their brow or ear, and other patients even experience migraines, all due to a bad bite. Additionally, patients may find that they consciously make adjustments to their food choices because chewing with a missing tooth is uncomfortable, and some patients unconsciously chew with only the other side of their mouth adding unbalanced wear on their other teeth.
Besides the problems listed above, the other large factor to consider when losing a tooth is the changes it will cause in your jawbone. Our jawbone, like all of our bones, needs exercise to stay healthy. Our jaw gets this needed exercise through the motion of chewing and the constant pressure we put on our teeth throughout the day. A missing tooth means that that portion of the jaw is no longer being exercised, and therefore it atrophies or shrinks. You may not see a visible difference following the loss of one tooth, but lose two, three or more, and noticeable changes will become increasingly obvious. Your facial structure will be visibly smaller and sunken, giving what we have come to assume is an older appearance.
Placing an implant is an in-office procedure often done with local anesthetic, although conscious sedation options are available. Before surgery, we may have to have the patient take simple steps such as adjusting medications, ensuring you can heal properly, and in many cases, performing a bone graft to bulk up the existing jaw bone. We will review all information with you, including the healing process and what to expect.