Millions of Americans are missing teeth, and lost teeth are not always the result of poor oral health. Just as there are different reasons why people are missing teeth, there are several different methods of replacing them. Replacing your missing or damaged teeth is important for more reasons than just having an attractive smile, since missing teeth can pose a threat to your oral and overall health.
Dr. J. Stephen Hoard, an experienced dentist in New Bern, NC who helps patients restore their smile and protect their health, wants to educate you about why you should always replace missing teeth.
Consequences of Missing Teeth
Missing teeth can impact you in more ways than just the look of your smile and self-confidence. Living with missing teeth can risk the health of your jawbone and gums, and the stability of your teeth and bite. Replacing them is vital to protecting the long-term health of your smile.
The biggest risk of allowing gaps to remain in your smile is that your jaw bone tissue will deteriorate, which can lead to additional oral health problems. Healthy roots of teeth stimulate new bone tissue to grow to support them. Without these roots, the tissue begins to deteriorate. When this happens, the remaining teeth can move and become crooked or even become loose and eventually fall out. Teeth moving can also change the stability of your bite or even the shape of your mouth, making it appear sunken.
The risk of periodontitis (gum disease) increases when your teeth or crooked teeth or your bite is uneven. Crooked teeth are harder to clean, and loose teeth may allow bacteria to settle in around them. Teeth can also become overcrowded as the mouth shrinks due to missing teeth and jawbone erosion, posing a risk of teeth fracturing or tooth decay setting in.
How to Replace Missing Teeth
Dental implants are now the preferred long-term tooth replacement option with a 99% satisfaction rating among those that have received them. Implants permanently replace missing teeth and restore full functionality, allowing your to smile, talk and chew with renewed confidence. The roots of dental implants stimulate your jawbone tissue to grow new tissue, preventing your teeth from moving and your mouth from shrinking.
Dentures or dental bridges are also options but are less permanent, requiring routine replacements every few years. Dentures in particular need to be removed for cleaning and placed using a messy, sticky adhesive. And as your mouth shrinks due to no roots, your dentures will be more likely to fall out due to not fitting properly, requiring a new set.
Dental bridges are effective but require the adjacent teeth to be healthy enough to be altered so the crown that is replacing the missing teeth can be anchored to them.
If you have multiple dental concerns such as missing teeth, combined with tooth decay on surrounding teeth, you may benefit from a smile makeover, which is a combination of several therapies combined to address all your issues and give you the overall results you’re looking for.
Missing Teeth Treatment in New Bern, NC
No matter your goals, Dr. J.. Stephen Hoard can help you! Schedule a consultation with our experienced team online today or call (252) 507-0373 to get on track to restore your smile.