According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in six Americans over the age of 65 have lost all of their natural teeth. However, tooth loss can affect anyone at any age. Tooth loss can lead to a number of problems, some of which you may be all too familiar with. If you are one of the millions of Americans who have lost teeth, you may be wondering if it is important to replace them, as well as what your replacement options are. In this blog post, we will discuss five reasons why it is important to replace missing teeth, and we will also list the three most common tooth replacement options: bridges, dentures, and dental implants.
Why to Replace Missing Teeth
If you have lost teeth, it is important to replace them for a number of reasons. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most important reasons to replace missing teeth:
Maintain Proper Function
First, replacing missing teeth will help maintain proper function. When you lose teeth, it can make it difficult to eat and speak properly. Even missing a single tooth can impair your ability to chew certain foods or pronounce certain sounds. However, the natural function of your teeth can be further impaired with the more teeth that are lost. The locations of missing teeth can also impact chewing and speaking functions differently. For example, if you are missing molars (back teeth), it can make chewing tough foods more difficult. On the other hand, if you are missing incisors (front teeth), it can make speaking properly more difficult.
Second, replacing missing teeth will help prevent overgrowth. Overgrowth can occur when the tooth opposing the gap left by a missing tooth grows too long. Normally, the opposing teeth meet one another while chewing and this force regulates proper tooth growth. However once a tooth is lost, there is no longer any opposing force to prevent the opposing tooth from growing longer to fill the gap left behind. Not only does this affect the look of your smile, but it can increase the chances of damage to the overgrown tooth, as well as lead to general dysfunction.
Prevent Bone Loss
Third, replacing missing teeth will help prevent bone loss. When you lose teeth, the bone that supported those teeth begins to deteriorate. This is because the roots of your teeth stimulate the bone when you bite and chew. Without this stimulation, the body leeches bone from the jaw and distributes it elsewhere in the body. This process, known as bone resorption, begins to shrink and deteriorate the jawbone. As a result, replacing missing teeth is not only important for maintaining proper function and preventing overgrowth, but also for preserving the strength and integrity of your jawbone.
Maintain an Even Bite
Fourth, replacing missing teeth will help maintain an even bite. When you lose teeth, it can cause your remaining teeth to shift out of alignment in order to fill the gaps left behind by the missing tooth or teeth. This can lead to a number of problems, such as TMJ disorders, uneven wear on your teeth, and difficulty cleaning your teeth properly. Replacing missing teeth helps to maintain an even bite by preventing your remaining teeth from shifting out of alignment.
Restore Your Smile
Finally, replacing missing teeth will help restore your smile. When you lose teeth, it can impact both the function and the aesthetic of your smile. Replacing missing teeth helps to restore both the function and the aesthetic of your smile. In addition, replacing missing teeth can also help to boost your self-confidence by giving you a smile that you can be proud of. Unfortunately, there are a variety of negative stereotypes associated with people who have missing teeth, so having your teeth replaced will help you make a better first impression.
Popular Tooth Replacement Options
The above are just a few of the many reasons why it is important to replace missing teeth. Now that we have discussed some of the most important reasons to replace missing teeth, let’s take a look at some of the most common tooth replacement options:
Bridges are commonly used to replace one or more missing teeth. A bridge is made up of two or more crowns that are placed on the teeth adjacent to the gap left by the missing tooth or teeth. The crowns are connected to each other by one or more false teeth, known as pontics. Bridges can be made from a variety of materials, such as gold, silver, or porcelain. Nowadays, however, porcelain is primarily used for its natural appearance.
Dentures are commonly used to replace all of the teeth in an arch. Dentures are made up of a gum-colored acrylic or plastic base that supports one or more false teeth, known as pontics. Dentures are held in place by suction or by dental adhesives. Dentures can be removed and placed back into the mouth as needed.
Dental implants are commonly used to replace one or more missing teeth. A dental implant is a titanium screw that is placed into the jawbone in order to support a restoration such as a crown, bridge, or denture. Unlike other tooth replacement options, like bridges or dentures, dental implants are able to provide the necessary jawbone stimulation to prevent bone loss from occurring. Because of this, dental implants are considered to be the most durable and long-lasting tooth replacement option. However, they are also the most expensive and involved tooth replacement option.
Which Tooth Replacement Option is Right for You?
Now that we have looked at some of the most popular tooth replacement options, you may be wondering which one is right for you. The best way to determine which tooth replacement option is right for you is to consult with a qualified dentist. During your consultation, your dentist will assess your individual needs and make recommendations accordingly.
In this blog post, we have discussed five reasons why it is important to replace missing teeth, as well as some of the most popular tooth replacement options. If you are missing one or more teeth, we recommend that you consult with a qualified dentist to determine which tooth replacement option is right for you. No matter which tooth replacement option you ultimately choose, it is important to replace your missing teeth in order to maintain proper function, prevent overgrowth, prevent bone loss, maintain an even bite, and restore your smile. Thanks for reading! We hope this blog post has been helpful.