There’s More to a Healthy Mouth Than Your Ability to Chew

Some statistics cause you to panic. Others – especially those one-in-a-million types – not so much.

Here’s an example: according to The American College of Prosthodontists, an estimated 178 million people are missing at least one tooth. Compare that data to the over 35 million that live their lives with…no teeth!

If you’re missing a tooth you might be thinking – “That’s not so bad. It’s easy to blend-in with 178 million others and go unnoticed.”

There’s more to missing teeth than meets the eye

You might be one of those millions who’ve learned to do something common. You’ve learned to compensate.

And the place you’ve become accomplished at it is eating. Perhaps you discovered how to chew and relatively enjoy your food with a missing tooth or two.

It’s proven to be easier if it’s one of your back teeth. After all, out-of-sight-out-of-mind, right?

There’s a problem with compensating. Your gums take an initial hit but they toughen over time (not necessarily a good thing).

Your lack of problems while eating can disguise deeper problems. But, if you’re missing a front tooth, chewing is more difficult – especially if you enjoy raw fruits and vegetables, a thick slice of meaty pizza, or a sandwich.

Risky behavior

It’s not a matter of how many of your teeth are missing before it impacts your diet. The bigger issue is the risk that comes with your missing teeth.

Tooth loss leads to bone loss. And bone loss can begin to put your other teeth at risk.

Your teeth depend on each other. They’re an interdependent support system throughout your entire mouth.

The out of sight damage from one missing tooth can lead to more serious (and painful) dental issues. Gum disease, inflamed, sore, or bleeding gums can produce infection and eventual tooth extraction.

The better – no risk – approach

You don’t have to get-by on one missing tooth. In fact, there’s a healthier, less risky way to keep your remaining teeth and enjoy your food.

Replace your missing tooth with a dental implant. This treatment enables you to live a healthier lifestyle and preserve your teeth.

Your dental implant procedure is a long term investment. Implants put an end to eating difficulty, bone loss, gum issues, mouth pain, and tooth replacement options that are more costly over time.

What statistics prove is clear. Millions of people live with the hassle, pain, and health risks of missing teeth.

Choose to reduce the list by one. You have options for treating tooth loss and improving the quality of your life – starting with your meals.

Question: How have you adjusted your lifestyle as result of a missing tooth? Comment.

If You Wait Too Long Following Tooth Loss

Storms come and storms go. And some of what they leave behind can be useful (depending on your needs).

Sure, there’s damage and destruction. But if the structure’s foundation remains you have something to build on.

Tooth loss can be devastating. At least it feels that way on the surface.

Most often you’re concerned with the appearance issues. But there’s a deeper concern than looks.

Dental implants provide you a functional and attractive alternative for your missing or damaged teeth. Structurally, including an artificial root, they’re more practical and look better than dental bridges and dentures.

Implant treatment follows a predictable path depending on your tooth loss circumstances. Your dental implant is placed in your jaw, your jawbone fuses with the implant (forming an artificial, strong tooth root), and over time your bone absorbs the treatment process (known as osseointegration).

The concern? Location of your tooth loss and lapsed time determine how much bone there is to work with for implant placement.

A sufficient amount of bone is needed for placing your dental implant. And you could face another common issue post tooth loss too.

Jawbone atrophy

Dental implants are a substantial option  for tooth loss. But they can fail if certain factors are present.

Preliminary treatment can solve many of these factors. Bone loss and bone atrophy are common but treatable.

Available options

Bone grafting is a recommended solution. This oral surgery procedure inserts transplanted bone tissue at the implant location.

Generally, the bone grafts are obtained from areas such as your chin. Occasionally, donor bone tissue from a cadaver or synthetic substance is used.

The location and condition of your implant site will determine the treatment approach. Bone tissue is typically thin in the back upper quadrant of your jaw.

Placing your implant in this section could also require a sinus augmentation. This procedure raises the “floor” of your sinus and bone graft tissue is inserted in the space to create a solid foundation for your dental implant.

If you’ve been a long-term denture wearer we need to determine if a bone graft is necessary. This can potentially increase your treatment time line but will improve the success of your dental implant.

Tooth loss can be devastating. But you can recover and re-build following the proper damage assessment and treatment procedure.

 

Question: What are your concerns about bone grafts? Comment.