The loss of even a single tooth can have a detrimental effect on your mouth. Spaces in the mouth leave room for other teeth to move, often leading to shifts in your bite. If teeth are not replaced, these shifts can continue, causing more and more serious problems. Because of this domino effect, it is important to have missing teeth replaced as soon as possible.
The Wide-Ranging Effects of Missing Teeth
The relationship between your upper and lower teeth is called your “bite.” The bite affects not only the relationship between the teeth, but also the relationship between the upper and lower jaws. If your bite is severely misaligned, the results can be destructive, long-lasting and uncomfortable.
Any shifts or changes in the bite can lead to excess wear and tear, teeth grinding, breakage of the teeth, or difficulty biting and chewing. Another long-term result of missing teeth can be temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMD. This condition is difficult to diagnose and can cause headaches, ear and jaw discomfort, and even uncomfortable strain in the upper back.
Replacing Missing Teeth with Dental Implants
One of the best ways to replace missing teeth is with dental implants. Even a single tooth can be replaced with an implant without requiring modification to the adjacent teeth. Dental implants are placed directly into the jawbone, providing replacement tooth roots as well as prosthetic chewing and biting surfaces.
The most common procedure for placing dental implants is for an oral surgeon to place the root portion of the tooth, then, after a healing period, the visible portion of the implant is placed. Implants are permanent and remain stationary in the mouth, preventing many of the issues that lead to an uncomfortable fit with traditional dentures. Other advantages to implants include:
- Implants do not have to be removed for cleaning
- Implants do not require special adhesives
- Implants help the jawbone remain healthy
- Implants do not require alteration as do dentures
To find out more about the importance of replacing missing teeth and how dental implants can keep your smile bright and your jaw healthy, please contact our oral surgeon serving Frisco for a consultation.