Why You Should Replace Missing Teeth
The human body has over 200 bones, and every single one is important. From the femur (thigh bone) to the scapula (shoulder blade) to the two small nasal bones, they all play a pivotal role in your body’s functionality. Your teeth, though small, are no different: every tooth is functionally important. If any of your teeth are missing, you should consider getting dental implants to improve the appearance, function, and health of your smile.
1. Cosmetic Appearance
Missing teeth can affect your aesthetic appearance. A grinning child missing his two front teeth is considered cute, but this is not the case with an adult smile. According to one study, people who are missing visible teeth are perceived as less attractive, healthy, successful, intelligent, educated, and trustworthy. Missing teeth may reduce your willingness to smile due to embarrassment about your teeth. Additionally, without the resistance of the missing tooth, the adjacent teeth may begin to shift, creating multiple gaps and holes in your smile. Lastly, as the jawbone gradually deteriorates where the missing tooth was, you could develop a collapsed facial appearance and excess wrinkles.
2. Chewing and Eating
If you are missing teeth, it may inhibit your ability to chew properly. Declining tooth function may cause you to limit your diet, and this can compromise your nutritional status. For example, you may avoid raw vegetables because they are harder to chew, thus reducing your access to key nutrients. Furthermore, the foods you do eat may not be chewed enough, which can lead to choking, acid reflux, and digestive problems.
Missing teeth can modify your speech. You may slur certain words or develop a tendency to lisp or spit while speaking. This is because your tongue and lips interact with your teeth to pronounce many common sounds, such as “T,” “S,” “Sh,” “Th,” “F,” and “V.” Without all of your teeth in their normal places, pronouncing these words becomes more difficult for you and may make it hard for others to understand what you are saying.
4. Dental/Oral Health
Your dental health may be worsened by missing teeth. First, the extra space between the two adjacent teeth can trap food particles, leading to bacteria accumulation, plaque buildup, accelerated tooth decay, and an increased risk of gum disease. Second, missing teeth can reset your bite. Even just one missing tooth may change your bite because your bite is determined by how your upper and lower teeth align. Third, the adjacent teeth may shift in place, creating other complications for dental health. Fourth, and perhaps most importantly, jawbone loss may occur around a missing tooth. Because there is no constant pressure or friction against the jawbone, the bone atrophies. This results in a weak jaw and a sunken appearance.
Replace Your Missing Teeth With Dental Implants
You can have your missing teeth replaced with dental implants, bridges, or dentures. Dr. Fiss recommends dental implants because they are a permanent solution and the only technique that can prevent jawbone loss. Dental implants can be used to replace a single missing tooth, multiple teeth, or even a full set of teeth. Each dental implant is composed of a titanium implant that is screwed into the jawbone, an abutment that sits on top of the implant, and a dental crown that is placed over the abutment. The crown mimics the appearance of a natural tooth and is unrecognizable as part of a dental implant. Dental implants act just like natural teeth and can guard against each issue described above. They are a permanent solution for tooth restoration when you have missing teeth.
Getting dental implants to replace your missing teeth could save you from a variety of cosmetic, functional, and dental health problems. To learn more about dental implants, schedule your appointment with Dr. Fiss. Call (312) 951-5230 or contact us online to book your appointment today.