Understanding the Importance of Tooth Replacement

With good dental care, teeth should last a lifetime. Yet, tooth loss is quite common among seniors and even younger adults. Poor dental care, tooth decay, gum disease, smoking, and diabetes are all factors that can contribute to the loss of your natural teeth. If you have one or more missing teeth, you probably already feel the effects on your self-esteem. It’s difficult to flash a smile when your smile is incomplete. But did you know that missing teeth can also lead to serious health consequences? For many patients in Tyson’s Corner, VA, dental implants are an excellent option for fixing gaps in the smile.

Bone Health

Your natural teeth extend down into the jawbone beneath the gum line. Every time you chew food, the gentle force exerted on your teeth stimulates the underlying alveolar bone. The alveolar bone is the part of your jawbone that keeps the natural teeth anchored in place. It is this regular stimulation of the bone that keeps the jawbone mass dense. When you have one or more missing teeth, the jawbone underneath these gaps no longer receives the necessary stimulation. This causes the bone to break down. If your tooth loss was caused by periodontal disease and the infection is left untreated, this infection further encourages the breakdown of jawbone mass. It’s best to replace missing teeth with dental implants as soon as possible. If the bone mass deteriorates too much, there may not be enough bone left to anchor the dental implants in place. In these cases, patients must undergo a bone grafting surgery to add more bone mass to the area before they can receive dental implants.

Aesthetic Appeal

People with missing teeth are often self-conscious about their appearance. Before a tooth replacement procedure, you may find yourself covering your mouth with your hand when you laugh to prevent others from seeing your incomplete smile. Additionally, if you’re missing multiple teeth, the skin in the mouth area won’t receive the support it needs. It will begin to sag, which can add years to your appearance.

Oral Function

Another reason to replace missing teeth promptly is to preserve your oral function. With multiple missing teeth, it can be difficult to articulate words clearly and chew food thoroughly. Getting dental implants to replace your missing teeth will fix all of these problems.

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