Missing Teeth Can Have Far-Reaching Effects On Your Oral Health
Missing teeth can knock the rest of the smile out of alignment, as the remaining teeth will naturally shift out of their proper positions to fill in the resulting empty space. This process can put stress on the teeth and cause them to withstand unusual chewing forces that normally would be tolerated by multiple teeth. Consequently, the teeth can become damaged.
In a more critical scenario, you may even develop a painful temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder if the missing tooth requires the jaw to compensate in inefficient ways to absorb the necessary chewing forces.
Additionally, the phenomenon of jawbone resorption that is associated with missing teeth can also weaken the biological teeth that remain in the smile. At the site of the absent tooth, the bone will slowly erode because the tooth’s root is no longer in place to secure it. That process can weaken the attachment between the surrounding teeth and the jaw.
Dental implants can help to prevent many of these negative outcomes, however. After osseointegration—the process by which the surrounding bone fuses with the implant—is complete, the implant acts as an artificial tooth root.
When an oral surgeon places dental implants in a patient, those devices are able to stand alone without support from the surrounding teeth in the form of dental crowns. This characteristic also may benefit the patient’s oral health, as the process of placing crowns requires the removal of healthy tooth enamel.
Furthermore, because dental implants are more structurally complete, they tend to be more effective at chewing, which can reduce the problems that develop when there are not enough teeth to withstand the necessary forces.
Tooth loss can have severe after-effects not only on your smile’s aesthetics but on your oral health as well. Pursue a treatment to replace that tooth as soon as possible. Consult with our oral surgeon to learn if dental implants might be a recommended treatment in your case so that you can limit the negative results of tooth loss.
For more information or to schedule your informative consultation, call our team at 434-295-0911 today.