Missing An Adult Tooth? No Problem!

Missing an adult tooth can be worrisome. The great news is that the issue can be resolved and tackled with several options. You are not alone if you are missing a permanent tooth or two. A notable percentage of the world’s population often suffers from conditions like hypodontia, where one or more permanent teeth do not emerge. Other causes of missing teeth can be poor dental health, inherited ailment, genetic condition, gum disease, or injury.

Causes of a missing adult tooth

Gum disease – Periodontitis or gum disease leads to infection and will inevitably damagedamage the gum’s soft tissue. If left untreated, it may loosen one or more teeth and finally result in tooth loss. 

Tooth decay – Cavities are a common cause of tooth loss. Tooth decay is a result of severely damaged tooth enamel. Improper teeth cleaning, bacteria in the mouth, plaque, and snacking on too much sugary or high-carb foods may cause tooth decay.

Injury – Traumatic dental injuries and tooth loss may result from sports or accidents.

Hypodontia – Hypodontia, also known as Congenitally missing teeth, is mainly inherited. 

Besides impacting appearance and a toothy smile, missing teeth may have a wide-ranging effect on oral health. Avoiding treatment to replace missing teeth may pose a severe risk to your overall dental health. Missing teeth may affect speech, the ability to chew, damaged gum, weak jaw muscles, increased risk of developing cavities, and loss of self-confidence.

These are good reasons why a proficient dentist or an endodontist should be consulted to replace missing teeth as soon as possible. 

Dental implants 

What are dental implants?

Dental implants are artificial tooth replacements. Dental implants are secured and anchored into the jawbone with screw-like devices. 

Who is a candidate for dental implants? 

Dental implants as a replacement for a missing tooth are not suitable for everyone. The right candidate for an implant is someone with good oral health, sufficient bone density, and strong gums or jaw bones. If this is not the case, other or additional options may be discussed at your dental appointment. 

Benefits of dental implants 

Dental implants are an innovative and reliable replacement for missing teeth. These implants mimic natural teeth and come with several long-term benefits. Dental implants last a lifetime, restore full chewing power, stabilize adjacent teeth, prevent bone loss and gum disease, and prevent facial sagging. 

What is the procedure of a dental implant?

A dental implant is a surgical procedure where tooth roots are replaced with screw-like metal devices. They are fitted to the jawbone by drilling holes. A crown mimicking a natural tooth is fixed on top. 

Maintenance and after-care tips for dental implants 

Dental implants replicate natural teeth and need a proper dental cleaning. Rinsing the mouth regularly to keep food away from the surgery site helps in healing. Washing the mouth with warm salt water prevents bacterial growth. After a few days of surgery, regular brushing with standard toothpaste will keep the dental implants clean. The implant should not be purposely disturbed with the tongue. Smoking should be avoided to keep the mouth healthy and allow better healing. 

Dental implants are prostheses and do not get affected by cavities like natural teeth. Regular teeth cleaning routines like brushing and flossing can be resumed once the surgery site has healed. 

Dental bridges 

A dental bridge is, in essence, a false tooth cemented to fill the gap where a tooth is missing. A dental bridge can be made of gold, porcelain, or other materials. 

There are four types of dental bridges. 

A traditional dental bridge – A traditional dental bridge is the most popular dental bridge. It is used when there are two teeth present on either side of the missing tooth. The dental bridge or the false tooth is held in place by cementing dental crowns onto either side of the abutment teeth. 

Cantilever dental bridge – Almost similar to a traditional dental bridge, in a cantilever bridge, the false tooth is held in place by cementing a dental crown to only one abutment tooth. 

Maryland dental bridge – This tooth replacement mechanism is similar to the traditional dental bridge. Here, instead of cementing, the false tooth is bonded with a metal or porcelain framework to the back of the two adjacent teeth. 

An implant-supported dental bridge – As the name suggests, this type of dental bridge is fixed with dental implants. It is a surgical procedure and, in most cases, requires two surgeries. 

Why do you need a dental bridge?

When a tooth or few teeth are missing from the mouth, it can disrupt the working of the entire dental setup. A dental bridge is one of the most common teeth replacement procedures that can help stabilize a broken or decayed tooth. 

What are the advantages of dental bridges?

A dental bridge can address several issues resulting from missing teeth. It can restore chewing ability, prevent shifting of other teeth, prevent distorted speech and pronunciation, and restore the shape of the face. 

How long does a dental bridge last?

Dental bridges have a great life span and can last from five to seven years, depending on regular professional dental cleaning and personal oral hygiene. 

It is easy to take care of a dental bridge. Proper dental health care, timely professional teeth cleaning, and a healthy fiber-rich diet can help prevent tooth decay and keep dental bridges in good shape. Avoid chewy food and fibrous meat to prevent interference with dental bridges.

With many options available, replacing a missing tooth is not a problem. However, avoiding treatment can make things worse. Early treatment can save you from tooth-related trouble and restore your smile. Contact Torbram Dental today for more information!

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