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Why You Need to Replace Missing Teeth Right Away
Posted on November 1st, 2017
Missing teeth are more than unsightly. They can lead to long-term, irreversible harm to your jaw bone and other aspects of your oral health. The longer you wait to replace one or more missing teeth, the more damage your mouth and jaw will incur. Most of our patients think a bridge or dentures are their only options, but dental implants are the next best thing to real teeth as they look and feel the same and can be cared for the same as your natural teeth—daily brushing, flossing, and rinsing with mouthwash or water.
Whether you lost the tooth due to an injury, poor oral health, gum disease, or it was extracted for other reasons, your mouth will go through a lot of changes such as:
Your teeth will begin to shift to fill the gap left by the missing tooth.
Your facial shape and side profile will change and appear sunken, making you look older.
You could develop health concerns including diabetes, coronary artery disease, stroke, and malnutrition due to eating difficulties.
You’re more likely to develop gum disease (or existing gum disease will worsen).
You’re more likely to lose additional teeth due to shifting, gum recession, bone loss, and other reasons.
Bone loss or bone resorption will begin very quickly because the jaw bone doesn’t have the consistent stimulation and pressure from the missing tooth. In fact, you can lose up to 25 percent of your bone width within the first year following tooth loss.
Restore Your Tooth with Dental Implants
Our dentist believes dental implants are the best way to restore your missing tooth. They function like your natural teeth and don’t require the adjacent teeth to be manipulated. A dental implant involves three parts. The post, the abutment, and the crown.
The post is made of titanium and is placed where your natural tooth root used to be—this is essential as your bone will continue to resorb without an artificial root to keep your jaw bone healthy and stimulated. The abutment is next, which is responsible for connecting the titanium post to the dental crown that will show when you smile. The abutment is typically made of porcelain or titanium and screws onto the root implant and lives slightly above your gum line.
The final step of the dental implant process is the crown placement. Dental crowns are often used following severe tooth decay or tooth fractures. They’re durable and mimic the look of your natural teeth. If you’re missing more than one tooth, we can also attach dentures or a dental bridge to the abutment(s).
Dental implants are the next best thing to natural teeth, and thanks to the post involved in the process, you can prevent bone loss by getting dental implants as soon as possible.
If you’re missing one or more teeth, please contact our cosmetic dentist in Houston today at (281) 320-2000 to schedule your exam and consultation. Dr. Stephens and our skilled staff at Stephens & Gatewood Dentistry serve clients in Spring, Conroe, The Woodlands, and surrounding Texas areas.