Over Half of Americans Are Missing At Least One Tooth
Missing teeth is a major issue with serious consequences for millions of Americans. According to the American College of Prosthodontics, more than one in two people are missing at least one tooth while over 40 million Americans are missing all their teeth.
Living with missing teeth isn’t just embarrassing and inconvenient — it’s also a significant hazard to your oral and overall health. In fact, the more teeth a person is missing, the more likely they are to have additional medical problems.
For patients with missing teeth, no other type of restoration provides the health benefits you get with dental implants.
Dental implants are the only restoration that stimulates jawbone growth and prevents your existing natural teeth from changing position. This helps preserve your oral health and it protects you from significant medical consequences such as gum disease.
How Dental Implants Preserve Your Smile
When a patient loses a tooth, their jawbone in the area around the empty socket immediately begins to diminish through a process known as resorption. This occurs because bones are a lot like muscles in the sense that they require constant activity to remain healthy and strong.
Unlike treatment alternatives such as dentures or dental bridges, dental implants actively stimulate jawbone growth.
Another way dental implants protect your smile is by stopping your remaining natural teeth from shifting position. In a healthy smile, teeth serve as placeholders, providing support and keeping each other in place. But when a patient loses one or more teeth, their remaining teeth will begin to move around.
When teeth shift around due to gaps in your smile, it irritates the gums, making the patient more susceptible to gum disease. As teeth change position, it creates spaces where plaque and tartar can form, and this makes it harder to keep your teeth clean. Plaque and tartar feed the bacteria which cause gum disease.
The Hazards of Gum Disease
Living with missing teeth increases your chances of contracting gum disease, and this, in turn, can lead to the loss of additional teeth. Gum disease causes the tissue in your mouth to become inflamed and infected, and it can spread to other parts of the body if not treated.
Gum disease has been linked to the following medical issues:
- Heart disease
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Premature childbirth
Learn More About the Benefits of Dental Implants
Dr. Klym in Traverse City features effective implant solutions for patients who are missing one or more teeth. He’ll be happy to talk to you about the dental implant process and what implants can do for your smile.
Call today to schedule your free consultation with Dr. Klym. Or, just fill out the submission on this page, and we’ll get right back to you.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the most common cause of tooth loss in adults?
Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is the most common cause of tooth loss in adults. Fortunately, practicing good oral hygiene by brushing twice a day and flossing daily can help prevent gum disease. Tooth loss can result from severe decay and injury.
In addition to regularly brushing and flossing, you’ll want to schedule biannual exams and cleanings with Dr. Klym so we can ensure your teeth and gums are in excellent condition. During these visits, he’ll also notify you of any areas of concern so we perform any necessary treatments before they require more invasive procedures.
While not all injuries can be prevented, we can inform you on ways to keep your teeth in the best of health for years to come.
How does living with missing teeth affect quality of life?
Living with one or more missing teeth can affect your confidence and make you reluctant to share your smile. Over time, soft tissue of the face can come to rest in the empty spaces, leading to a sunken appearance. While concerns like these might not bother every patient, other issues aren’t purely cosmetic.
Missing teeth can make it more difficult to speak clearly and enjoy the meals you love. Without the stimulation of a tooth or dental implant, the jawbone can deteriorate and lose density, becoming weaker and more vulnerable. Remaining teeth can also shift without the support of a full arch, leading to alignment issues and discomfort.
How do you treat tooth loss?
There are a variety of options available for treating tooth loss such as dentures and dental bridges. However, they don’t compare to the natural look and feel of dental implants. Dental implants are a stable and durable tooth replacement option that won’t move around or slip when you’re talk. Best of all, they can last a lifetime with proper care.
Dental implants are placed directly into your jawbone for unmatched stability and longevity. Once the process in complete, your implants will look and feel just like your natural teeth. If you’re missing more than one tooth, we also offer implant-supported bridges and dentures.
For more information on our dental implant solutions, contact our Traverse City office by calling (231) 774-6819 and a knowledgeable team member will explain the benefits of our dental implant options.