Patients can lose teeth for a wide variety of reasons, and studies show that practically everyone will lose at least one adult tooth in their lifetime. While many tend to think of tooth loss as a cosmetic issue, it can actually lead to a number of serious health issues when left untreated. This is why all patients should take some time to understand the oral health problems that can develop after a tooth is lost, as well as their treatment options.
Your Mouth After a Tooth Is Lost
Without the right treatment or tooth restoration, you will be putting your jaw, gums, and remaining natural teeth at risk. In addition to helping you eat and speak properly, teeth actually keep jaws healthy as well. The root of the tooth stimulates the jaw in order to keep it strong, and those that permanently lose a tooth often struggle with a loss in bone density. The remaining teeth will also begin to shift inwards without the support of the missing tooth, and this can increase the risk of losing even more teeth.
Missing teeth have been treated for quite some time with devices such as dentures, but this treatment option does have a few drawbacks. Some patients find them to be uncomfortable or difficult to maintain, and this is why many patients have now turned to dental implants. Dental implants are a relatively new option for permanently treating tooth loss and have a very high success rate. A dentist who also performs oral surgery can do this procedure. The process begins with the dentist examining the patient’s mouth to make sure that they have no oral health issues that will affect the implant.
On the day of the procedure, a rod made of biocompatible metal (typically titanium) is implanted into the patient’s jaw where it will form a powerful bond in a process called osseointegration. Once the mouth has healed and the rod has settled, the custom crown (false tooth) is then attached to the top of the rod. With proper care, the implant itself will last a lifetime while the crown can last for 10 to 15 years.
To learn more about dental implants and other solutions to teeth loss problems, consult a dentist in Greenville, SC like Dr. Trey Kenna of Downtown Dental. A meeting with the dentist can help allay any fears you may have and preserve your oral health.
What are the consequences of missing teeth?, perio.org
How do dental implants work?, aaid-implant.org