If you’re one of the millions of Americans who are missing one or more teeth, you may not be aware of the surprising consequences it can have on your oral health. It often leads to other problems that cost you time and money to fix down the road, not to mention causing you to lose bone mass in your jaws. In fact, over time, your jaws will actually shrink and your facial structure will change. Thankfully, unlike replacement options like dentures and bridges, dental implants in Westminster prevent these problems and also protect your jaws. They also provide the same look, feel and function of your natural teeth, making them an ideal way to restore your smile. Learn more below!
What Are the Effects of Tooth Loss?
There are many possible reasons for tooth loss, including gum disease, physical trauma, large cavities and poor oral hygiene. Regardless of the cause, some patients choose to leave an empty space rather than replace the missing tooth, especially if it’s in the back and doesn’t show when they smile.
Here are some of the potential consequences that can result. As more teeth are lost, the effects become more serious:
- When teeth are lost, your body begins to absorb the bone mass in your jaw, causing it to become thin and brittle over time. This also changes your facial structure and leads to a sunken-in look that adds years to your appearance.
- Any teeth that are behind the missing space will begin to shift, move, or tip forward to take the place of the empty space. This causes changes in your bite and increases the risk of gum disease and cavities on the remaining teeth.
- Every tooth is used to help you eat and speak comfortably, so it becomes more difficult to speak clearly or chew hard, tough foods after tooth loss.
How Do Implants Protect Your Jawbone?
Fortunately, dental implants protect your jawbone and help you avoid all of these issues. Why? There’s one simple reason: Implants are the only option that replaces the root of a missing tooth.
This “root” stimulates the surrounding jaw bone and tricks the body into thinking that a tooth is still present, so the jawbone level is maintained. It also gives implants their unparalleled support and chewing strength that make them feel like your own teeth.
In addition, it means that implants can last many decades (with basic care and maintenance), which is significantly longer than bridges and dentures. Also, for patients who have lost all of their teeth, implant-retained dentures are an option that provides many of these same benefits.
Losing teeth can impact your life in surprising ways. But with an option like dental implants, it doesn’t have to!
About the Author
Dr.Terry Batliner is a family dentist and a native of Colorado who is passionate about providing outstanding dental care to his community. For his patients who have experienced tooth loss, he always explains the pros and cons of each replacement option to help them make the best decision. If you’re missing teeth and would like to know more, he can be reached via his website or at (303) 460-9000.