A single lost tooth isn’t a big deal, right? You can live without it, right?
That’s true … for a time. But the effects of tooth loss get worse if you don’t replace it.
We’ll describe some of those effects in today’s post. For now, just know that Mark W. Wilhelm, DMD, MSD, wants to give you back your complete smile.
What Could Happen
Losing a tooth can be troubling for a number of reasons. If the tooth is located near the front of your mouth, it can change how you talk and how willing you are to smile. When you feel self-conscious about your missing tooth, you may not speak up when you want to say something. You also might feel hesitant about meeting people face-to-face.
That lost tooth also can make eating more difficult as well. Again, this depends in part on the location of the tooth, but you may have more trouble biting into certain foods or chewing them up if you have a gap in your mouth.
Related to that is a concern with mesial drift. When you eat, you put pressure on your teeth that tends to push them toward the front of the mouth. When a tooth is missing, it allows nearby teeth to shift. That can change your bite and your smile even more.
Meanwhile, below your gumline, you may be losing bone density. Without a tooth — and specifically the root of your tooth — to stimulate your jawbone, the jaw can begin to shrink in that part of your mouth. Over time, this raises your risk of further tooth loss, which only compounds the problems mentioned above.
How To Stop Tooth Loss From Getting Worse
For a single missing tooth, the best solution is getting an implant-supported dental crown.
Modern crowns are made with durable materials that closely match the appearance of natural teeth. When placed in your mouth, these crowns are indistinguishable from real teeth.
Now, crowns are typically used to repair damaged teeth. In those cases, the tooth itself is formed into an abutment to support the crown.
When you are missing a tooth, you need a replacement for the root of the tooth as well. That’s exactly why we place dental implants.
Implants are artificial roots that are embedded directly in your jawbone. This is a mutually beneficial relationship. Your jaw holds the implant securely in place. Meanwhile, the implant stimulates the jaw, which encourages new bone growth and prevents bone loss.
With the implant in position, your crown is stable and strong. This allows you to speak and eat naturally. It also fills the gap in your smile, preventing the drifting mentioned above.
Close The Gap
No matter why you have a missing tooth, we are not going to judge you. At Dr. Wilhelm’s office in Woodbury, we just want to help you have a whole smile once again.