What Causes Missing Teeth?
There are many reasons why you may be missing some of your teeth. Some people are born without certain teeth. This is referred to as having congenitally missing teeth. Others may lose teeth due to tooth decay, bone loss in the mouth and trauma to the face while engaging in physical activities such as sports.
In some cases, teeth may also be removed or extracted to create space while undergoing orthodontic treatment. In cases of orthodontic treatment, replacing these extracted teeth, would not be necessary.
Dental Effects of Missing Teeth
One of the major reasons that most people choose to replace their missing teeth, is due to cosmetic reasons or to preserve their facial appearance. Most of us would replace a missing front tooth right away, since our smile would be greatly changed with a missing front tooth. We probably would not place the same importance on a missing back tooth or posterior tooth.
Drifting & Shifting Teeth
When we lose a tooth or teeth, there is a tendency for the nearby teeth to shift or move into the empty space that is left. This is a change that occurs gradually over a period of time. When these teeth shift, it can affect the bite in many ways. Chewing or biting function is altered because the teeth no longer make normal contact with each other. One or two missing back teeth can greatly affect eating, because there would be no teeth to chew the food against.
Any time a tooth is lost, the bone that used to support that tooth, starts to diminish. When a tooth is present, the bone that surrounds and supports that tooth, serves a function. The bone is stimulated by stimuli such as force and pressure from chewing and eating. When the tooth is lost, the bone no longer serves any function, and it begins to reduce. Over time this reduction can alter the shape of the face. This is especially noticeable when multiple teeth are missing. It can lead to having a sunken look in certain parts of the face.
Super Erupted Teeth
When we have teeth that make contact with each other, on opposite sides, they prevent over eruption. One tooth cannot continue to grow outwards, if another tooth obstructs its path. When we lose a tooth, the remaining tooth that is opposite that tooth, will continue to grow outwards. Over time this tooth will try to grow vertically to move into the empty space left by the missing tooth.
Why Replace Missing Teeth?
All of the issues mentioned above can be addressed by replacing missing teeth. The best option in tooth replacement is a dental implant. A dental implant helps to preserve the jaw bone and it is the only option that makes this possible. A dental bridge, partial denture or complete denture, will all result in bone loss over a period of time.
The dental implant is secured to our existing bone, and as a result, the bone is allowed to serve a function. A dental implant does not require that nearby teeth be altered to accommodate it. A dental bridge requires that nearby tooth structure be reduced, in order to fit the bridge securely.
If most of the teeth are missing or all of them are missing, using a complete or full denture, will contribute to more bone loss. The denture rests atop the gums and does not provide a very secure fit. Over time, the bone that is under the gums will begin to reduce. When this happens, the dentures will not fit properly and will require a denture reline. In addition to not fitting properly, the facial shape will greatly change. Using implant supported dentures are the only option that will help to preserve the bone and result in a secure fit.
If you are missing any teeth and would like to prevent these possible issues. Contact us now to schedule your complimentary consultation.