We could lose our natural teeth for a number of different factors, but no matter the cause, these gaps could mean serious trouble for our oral health. To avoid complications and even a prematurely aged appearance, you may need a dental prosthetic. In today’s blog, your Richardson, TX, dentist will talk about how we create lifelike dental prosthetics, and what can be done to avoid tooth loss altogether.
The Causes of Tooth Loss
A number of factors could lead to missing teeth. For example, an injury or accident could cause them to be knocked out, or you could have them removed due to severe cases of decay, infection, or damage. The most common cause is periodontitis. The advanced stage of gum disease, this actually severs the tissues that connect your teeth and gums, making them become loose and eventually fall out. If you attend regular visits for checkups and cleanings, we will watch for issues like periodontitis and offer care to manage them and protect your smile. If you have already lost one or more of your natural teeth, we suggest a visit right away. As we will explain below, losing even one tooth could mean serious trouble for your oral health.
The Toll of Your Missing Teeth
When you lose teeth, even one tooth, this means that surrounding ones could drift from their natural positions due to the gap in your smile. Misalignment could then occur, which in addition to altering smile beauty, could increase the risk of tooth decay and gum disease as the teeth are more difficult to thoroughly brush and floss. For others, missing teeth could upset bite balance. The strain on your smile and jaw joints then boosts the chances of painful jaw joint disorders such as TMJ disorder and bruxism. These disorders could even damage your teeth over time.
The body will also take note of your missing teeth, and in response will suspend the flow of key nutrients to the bone tissue around the lost roots. Without regular doses of calcium and phosphorus, your jawbone loses mass and density. The breakdown in structure could make further tooth loss possible, and over time, even lead to a prematurely aged appearance! Addressing the gaps in your smile could help preserve your facial structure and bite balance, and also help you avoid complications eating or speaking clearly!
For minor tooth loss, usually one to three teeth in a row, we could recommend a bridge. The prosthetic contains new teeth, referred to as pontics, with crowns attached to each end. We then place the crowns onto the natural teeth on either side of the gaps in your smile, known as abutment teeth. To create one, we remove structure from the abutment teeth and then take detailed impressions and images. In a lab setting, we design and craft the prosthetic from lifelike materials, such as ceramic, to ensure a durable and strong chewing surface. The material can also be color-matched to blend with your smile. On average, this portion lasts for about 10 to 15 years before requiring replacement as the jaw ridge changes shape.
Full and Partial Dentures
If you have more severe cases of tooth loss, then you may need to receive a denture. A partial denture addresses multiple gaps across your smile, and is held in place with metal clasps. A full replaces every tooth on one or both arches, using suction to keep the lower jaw set in place, and adhesive to keep the upper arch one secure. All of these options contain new teeth set in an acrylic base that mimics the appearance of gum tissue. Each is custom-made to ensure a proper fit and natural appearance. On average, they last about 5 to 10 years before they require replacement!
Dental implants are a more advanced option, one that is surgically inserted into your jawbone. The biocompatible titanium posts then act like new roots. They bond with the bone tissue through a process known as osseointegration, stimulating the growth of bone tissue to prevent loss of mass and density in the jaw. This also allows your new tooth to last for decades, maybe even a lifetime. We then attach an abutment and crown to address the visible portion, so your new tooth looks natural. If you have multiple missing teeth, then several posts could be used to secure a bridge or denture. Since the jaw ridge won’t change shape due to osseointegration, they could last a lifetime as well. Your dentures will also be fixed in place. You don’t have to remove them for cleaning or soaking, and they never slip when you eat or speak.
Preventing Lost Teeth
We will provide detailed instructions for keeping your new prosthetic healthy and whole. But what can be done to prevent further tooth loss? Our team can provide treatment to manage your periodontal disease. You can also improve your oral hygiene habits. We suggest taking time to brush twice a day for two minutes, and to floss every evening. Avoid cigarettes and tobacco products, and eat a healthier diet too. Make time to see our team for a checkup and cleaning visit too, so we can watch for problems that could lead to the loss of your teeth and other oral health issues. Working together, we can help you and your family enjoy strong and healthy smiles, and avoid issues like lost teeth. If you have any questions about how we design and create lifelike dental prosthetics, or if you have one or more missing teeth that need attention, then contact our team today to learn more.
Your Richardson, TX, Dentist Talks About Prosthetic Dental Care
Our team is ready to help fill the gaps in your smile, even if you’ve suffered from total tooth loss. For more information on how we design, create, and place lifelike and long-lasting tooth replacement, then please schedule a consultation by calling the Viva Dental Family Dentistry office nearest you at (214) 337-7800 (Dallas) or (972) 437-6000 (Richardson). We want to help address serious oral health issues and improve your smile.