Adults can lose their permanent teeth for various reasons. Decay, trauma, periodontal disease, dry mouth, poor diet, and smoking are often associated with tooth loss. Missing teeth can be cosmetically displeasing and contribute to self-consciousness. More importantly, however, losing permanent teeth can also pose serious consequences to your oral health.
Teeth play a crucial role in keeping the jawbone strong and healthy. When a tooth falls out, it no longer supports the underlying bone structure. Over time, the bone begins to atrophy and become weaker. Missing teeth can also distort the appearance of the mouth, causing the lips or cheeks to recess into large gaps where teeth used to be. When you are missing teeth, it can also become difficult to perform daily tasks. Patients who have experienced tooth loss can struggle to eat and speak properly, which can prompt them to eliminate certain foods and contribute to feelings of social anxieties. Fortunately, there are several options for patients who have lost teeth.
Tooth Replacement Options
Depending on your dental condition and personal preferences, you may choose from the following options to replace your missing teeth:
- Bridges: These restorations are designed to, as their name suggests, “bridge the gap” between teeth caused losing one or more teeth. Bridges can rehabilitate your ability to chew and speak comfortably as well as prevent the teeth from shifting.
- Dental Implants: These permanent restorations consist of a titanium post that fuses to the bone and a porcelain crown that is created to match the surrounding natural teeth. Dental implants provide optimal support to the jawbone and help prevent degradation.
Keeping up with your regularly scheduled dental exam appointments can help prevent tooth loss and treat any concerning oral conditions. Most patients are asked to visit their dentist once every six months, but some may be advised to schedule more frequent appointments to monitor their oral health.
For more information about the importance of replacing missing teeth or to schedule a dental appointment with Dr. Christine Chung, please call (551)222-4493.