What is the first thing that you notice about a person when you first meet them? For most of us it’s the warmth in their eyes, expression, but the most important thing is their smile. If you are missing teeth, then you may well feel ashamed, and hence smile less. A smile that is missing teeth can often be a smile that people don’t get to see. It is quite normal to feel ashamed of your smile, and ashamed about what people might think about you when they see that you are missing teeth and perhaps have other dental issues that need to be addressed.
The most important thing is what you can do now to replace missing teeth and take your smile back!
There are a number of tooth restoration options that can work for every patient, based on a number of factors.
The physical impact of missing teeth
Missing teeth from the back of your mouth might not immediately impact your smile today, but there are many unknown physical concerns that may ultimately impact your oral health, your beaming smile and your general health and facial structure further on down the road.
Perhaps the biggest concern to be aware of is that gaps between teeth can cause those otherwise healthy teeth to start to shift around in your mouth. This space creates an instability which can have drastic effects if not dealt with immediately. A once straight set of teeth can start to shift. Not only could this lead to cosmetic concerns with the way that your smile looks, but shifting teeth can press up against each other and lead to damage on what were once healthy teeth.
Another concern than isn’t always immediately obvious for those missing teeth is that gaps can have an impact on speech. We use our teeth and our tongue to form the sounds that make up the words we speak; a missing front tooth can lead to a lisp, or sounding like you are slurring some words.
Did you know that missing teeth can actually make you look older? Gaps and a missing tooth on the side can lead to changes in the shape of your face. This is caused by the deterioration of the bone in your jaw, which actually causes bone regression. This can change the way that your face looks, and may lead to facial sagging, which in turn can lead to premature wrinkles and a sunken looking facial structure.
Something else to be concerned about is the impact on your overall nutrition and digestion. Missing teeth can lead you to make nutritional choices that are based purely on how easy the food is to chew. This type of dietary alteration can have long-lasting digestive consequences, particularly in those who are elderly or have unique dietary needs.
The emotional impact of missing teeth
Our teeth and our smile play important roles in our appearance, and in the way that we perceive ourselves and our attractiveness. In today’s culture, a beautiful complete smile is seen as a must-have part of a confident and happy person.
Missing teeth can make it hard for a person to smile confidently, and to simply enjoy an evening of fun and laughter with family and friends. This drop in confidence can have long-lasting emotional consequences that impact personal relationships, confidence in the workplace, and ultimately quality of life.
Sometimes we underestimate just how much we smile, laugh, and need to do these things in order to maintain healthy relationships and to feel the confidence that we deserve to feel. Getting the right missing teeth solutions can help to restore your self-esteem and your confidence.
Tooth Replacement Options
1 – Dental bridges
As the name would indicate, dental bridges are prosthetic teeth that bridge the gap between otherwise healthy teeth or implants. Your dentist will ensure that the prosthesis fit well, and that they match the shade or your natural teeth.
The process could involve several phases, in order to ensure that any existing dental concerns are taken care of, and that the bridge is made specifically to fit your mouth. The goal is a healthy mouth with an even smile that looks natural.
2 – Removable dentures
Dental patients who are not good candidates for a bridge or implant may find the removable dentures are an excellent option. Dentures are removable dental prosthesis that can help to restore a smile, and restore a bite so that patients can chew normally.
The key difference between a bridge and removable denture is the fact that the denture is designed to be removed and reinserted by the patient. In some situations, removable dentures may be used as a temporary solution until other prosthetic solutions have been completed.
3 – Dental implants
Dental implants are dental prosthesis that serve as an artificial root for the prosthetic, or crown, that will restore a smile. During the process, your dentist will ensure that your damaged or unhealthy tooth is removed and the gum allowed to heal prior to fitting the titanium implant into your gum. Titanium is the material of choice because of its ability to bond well with human bone tissue. Once in place, bone tissue will grow around the implant and it’ll become a part of your smile.
The crown will be affixed to the implant root once your gum has been allowed to heal. The crown will be designed to fit seamlessly in with your healthy teeth, so that your smile will look as natural as ever.
Which to Choose? Tooth Replacement Options Compared
Whether it’s a lone missing front tooth or a missing tooth on the side, there are several benefits to getting prompt treatment. Improving your smile and your self-esteem, along with your confidence to take on your day, is one of the best pros to consider.
If budget is a major factor, dentures would be the most affordable option, followed by a bridge if applicable and finally the dental implant.
The reason why dental implants are slightly more expensive, is because of the high quality materials used and the time consuming treatment plan which is needed. The dental implant is by far the best solution, as it is placed in the jaw bone, which retains the bone structure and stability. They are very durable and look exactly like real teeth.
Dental Bridges and dentures may lead to bone regression, which is basically the bone receding as there is not tooth in the bone. This creates more complicated problems in the futuer, and leaves adjacent teeth open to damage and movement.
Missing more than one tooth?
With All on 4 dental implants, you can actually replace a full arch of teeth, which gives you a full smile back, and the strength and function of real teeth
Dental bridges are not suitable for 3 or more missing teeth generally
Dentures can replace more missing teeth, but these are removable, so movement can occur, and you will need to watch what you eat, as these will not be as durable as your existing teeth
Improving your bite, and your ability to chew and speak without issue is another positive aspect of getting your missing teeth replaced.
Missing teeth that aren’t dealt with can lead to jaw bone degradation, which can in turn lead to a host of other concerns that go beyond just dental. Replacing missing teeth as soon as is possible will help to keep the bone tissue in your jaw from retracting.
If you are interested in taking advantage of our free consultation for dental implants, please get in touch
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