If you’ve had a permanent tooth removed or are facing tooth removal, you’ve probably wondered when is the best time to replace that tooth and make your smile complete again.
The best time is now.
There’s no time like the present and, like with many things, the sooner you do it, the better.
What Causes Missing Teeth?
There are several reasons people lose their permanent teeth. The most common cause of missing teeth is decay. Decay can be caused by bacteria in your mouth, which eats away at the enamel on your teeth. This causes the outer layer of your tooth to break down. When the enamel breaks down, the dentin underneath becomes exposed. This makes the tooth more susceptible to breaking off from the root. In addition, if the enamel has broken down enough, the nerve inside the tooth will die and need to be removed.
Another common reason for missing teeth is trauma. Trauma can occur during sports activities, accidents, a blow to the face or a fall.
Other causes of permanent tooth loss include genetics, periodontal disease, orthodontic treatment, cancer treatments and certain medications.
Tooth grinding and clenching also contribute to tooth loss. Grinding and clenching can wear down your teeth over time and cause them to chip, fracture and break. It’s important to talk to your dentist about ways to prevent these habits before they become too severe.
How Can I Prevent Tooth Loss?
Preventing tooth loss starts with making sure you brush and floss properly. Brushing twice a day and using an interdental cleaner once a day is recommended for optimal oral hygiene. Flossing between each tooth helps remove plaque buildup and prevents gum disease.
Gum disease is one of the leading causes of tooth loss. It can lead to bleeding gums, bad breath and even infection. Gum disease can also weaken the bone around your teeth, causing them to become loose and fall out.
We also recommend seeing us at least twice a year to make sure your teeth, mouth and gums are healthy.
When Should You Replace Missing Permanent Teeth?
Ideally, if you lose a tooth, you should replace it as soon as possible. Here’s why:
1. Missing a tooth or multiple teeth can cause other teeth to move in your mouth. These movements can cause problems such as jaw pain, headaches and TMD (temporomandibular joint disorder).
2. A gap left between your remaining teeth can affect how well you chew food. It can even make chewing painful. For some people, missing teeth can change their diet altogether, affecting nutrition intake. This can contribute to malnutrition and illness.
3. Your appearance may suffer if you don’t replace a lost tooth. Many people who are missing permanent teeth are self-conscious about their smiles. They may feel embarrassed to smile because they’re not able to show all of their teeth.
4. Replacing a missing tooth may help prevent future tooth loss. By replacing a tooth, you’ll reduce the risk of further damage to the surrounding teeth.
5. Replacing a lost tooth helps preserve your natural teeth. Over time, your remaining teeth can begin to shift into positions where they no longer function correctly. When this happens, you may need to undergo costly procedures like crowns or implants.
6. Replacing a missing or damaged tooth will improve your overall health. Research shows that having fewer teeth increases the risk of heart attack, stroke, diabetes and certain cancers.
7. Replacing a missing, cracked, broken or decayed tooth can save money on future dental care. Dental insurance plans often cover most of the cost of replacing missing teeth.
8. Having a full set of teeth is essential for good oral health. The American Academy of Periodontology recommends replacing missing teeth as soon as possible to maintain proper bite alignment and protect against potential complications.
Why Choose Dental Implants?
Dental implants have been used successfully for over 50 years. Today, they’re considered the standard of care for restoring missing teeth and are a popular tooth-replacement option.
Here are just a few reasons why choosing dental implants might be right for you:
1. Dental implants look, feel and act exactly like a real permanent tooth. People who receive dental implants usually notice little difference between their new teeth and their old ones.
2. Dental implants provide long-lasting results. Unlike dentures, dental implants last many years.
3. Dental implants are easy to maintain. You brush and floss them just like you would your natural teeth.
4. Dental implants offer superior support. Because they fuse with your jawbone, dental implants provide better stability than other types of tooth replacements.
5. Dental implants are permanent. Once placed, dental implants cannot be removed.
Considering a dental implant to replace a missing permanent tooth? Call us now to schedule a consultation.