Missing Teeth? Here’s How Your Local Dentist Can Help!
We Can Help You With Your Missing Teeth…
According to the American Academy of Periodontology, the negative consequences of missing teeth are numerous and interconnected. What makes matters worse is that traditional short-term solutions like fixed bridges and partial or complete removable dentures subject adjacent healthy teeth to hordes of disease-causing bacteria – the same bacteria that triggered your initial tooth decay, root death, and, in some cases, jawbone loss. That means constant care on your part, not to mention a guaranteed return visit to your periodontist or maxillofacial surgeon every seven to 14-years for a replacement.
Dental implants provide a truly long-term solution (and in many cases, a lifelong solution). Not only do artificial replacement teeth look natural, everything from the bone-embedded implant to the abutment – and the crown itself – are made from biocompatible materials which do not have the same negative impact on your existing natural teeth as the traditional short-term solutions. We want our clients in Encinitas and San Diego to consider dental implants to bring your smile back to life.
The Short-Term Consequences of Missing Teeth
Gaps from missing teeth not only initially impact your confidence; they continue to have emotional consequences if left unchecked. The most immediate change may be your speaking voice. Depending on the placement and scope of your missing teeth you may experience verbal missteps and anomalies like whistling. Your chewing habits will inevitably be affected as well.
Oftentimes patients with missing teeth complain about sensitivity and even stiffness in the jaw on the side opposite their gaps. This is caused by overcompensation and can lead to serious long-term consequences like TMJD. Also consider how the skin around your mouth and on your cheeks rests on your teeth; without that support in key places your skin will begin to take-on a concave appearance, effectively aging your face until your missing teeth have been replaced.
The Long-Term Consequences of Missing Teeth
One of the most serious long-term consequences of missing teeth to consider is bone loss. Missing teeth are the most common cause of jawbone loss. That is because your teeth and your jaw are essentially a codependent unit. In the same way that an opera tenor needs to practice and rehearse to keep their vocal cords strong and healthy, your jawbone needs the regular and varied stimulation provided by your teeth – your signature bite – to maintain its resiliency.
If you allow bite abnormalities to persist the pain you are likely experiencing will not stop at the teeth, gums, and jaw. Your changing bite can cause a cascading shift that manifests in headaches, neck and back and other muscle pain, and even permanent damage to the temporomandibular joint, or jaw joint.
What You Need to Know About The Solution to Missing Teeth
The experience of dental implant patients varies. You may only need one or two visits to our Encinitas or San Diego dental office or you may require several. All checkups are scheduled on a patient-by-patient basis as no two mouths are the same. We want to know every step of the way that your dental implants are working for you!
Because your titanium dental implants are fused to your jawbone through a process called osseointegration, the jawbone loss associated with fixed bridges and partial or complete removable dentures is virtually eliminated. But that does not mean that your work is done.
Tooth decay of adjacent natural teeth and aggressive gum recession can still cause significant shifts in your regular bite and create the conditions for periodontal diseases to take hold. Following the oral care procedure your implant specialist puts in place for you is important.