Missing Teeth / Lost Tooth Treatment in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island
During adolescence, we naturally grow in 32 permanent teeth. Aside from the 4 wisdom teeth, we need all other teeth to help us bite and chew. Tooth loss can have a significantly negative impact on the smile as well as on oral health. At Dental365, we provide preventive care that is needed to decrease the risk of tooth loss. Additionally, we provide restorative and replacement services to address tooth loss should this problem occur unexpectedly.
What are my options for a missing tooth?
Tooth loss has a few common treatment options. These include:
- Dental bridge treatment. This restorative technique can replace one or a few teeth that sit right next to each other. Dental bridges are typically fixed, meaning they are affixed to nearby teeth for support. At the ends of a dental bridge are crowns. Each crown will be fitted over a natural, healthy tooth or implant. In between is an artificial tooth. When the crowns are fitted to teeth, the artificial tooth sits firmly on top of the gums in the space where a tooth has been lost.
- Dentures are removable restorations that may be selected to replace a few teeth or a full arch of teeth. Dentures are made to stabilize on the gums with natural suction, which is created by their fit. However, many patients complain of instability. Because bone loss occurs without roots, the fit of dentures changes over time. The dentures need to be adjusted periodically to prevent slipping or falling out.
- Dental implants are fixtures that replace missing roots. These fixtures are made from biocompatible titanium, the same material that has frequently been used in orthopedic surgeries. After implants are placed, bone grows around them. When they are stabilized by bone, a crown, bridge, or denture can be affixed to the implant posts to fully restore appearance and chewing function.
What happens if you are missing a tooth?
When a tooth is lost or needs to be extracted, it isn’t only the tooth itself that is lost. The root also dies or comes out with the tooth. Teeth roots are important to long-term anatomical strength because this part of the tooth transfers force into the jawbone. Without a tooth and its root, problems may occur right away or years later.
Can a missing tooth cause problems?
Several problems can occur as a result of tooth loss. Because teeth sit adjacent to one another, part of what they do is keep the row of teeth in line. A missing tooth leaves a gap between teeth. A gap does not provide any force against adjacent teeth, so shifting may occur. Depending on where the gap is or how large it is, several teeth could shift, causing noticeable misalignment.
We mentioned that a lost tooth also means the loss of a tooth root. The roots of teeth send friction into the jawbone when we chew. This friction is needed for the bone to be stimulated into regeneration mode. Without a tooth root, the bone beneath the tooth does not regrow as it should. It decreases over time. At some point, this could affect the bite.
The space that is created when a tooth is lost can also become a haven for bacteria. We all have bacteria in our mouth. Some are beneficial and some can degrade teeth and the gums. Bacteria can linger in any tight or loose space, including along the gums where a tooth has been lost. The acid that is deposited by bacteria weakens gum tissue and can lead to gum disease.
Does a missing tooth need to be replaced?
It is necessary to have a tooth replaced to prevent unhealthy changes in dentition and oral health. The sooner that a missing tooth is replaced, the greater the chances of avoiding unpleasant tooth shifting, tooth decay, gum disease, or bone deterioration.
Can a missing tooth be replaced?
Missing teeth can be replaced with relative ease and convenience. We discuss the treatment options in-depth with our patients. Understanding the advantages and disadvantages of each tooth replacement option, a patient can make an informed, confident decision about what they deem best for their needs.
What happens if you don’t replace missing teeth?
If missing teeth are not replaced, surrounding teeth may shift over time, creating spaces in which bacteria and debris can accumulate. This can lead to tooth decay in surrounding teeth as well as gum disease.
How do you know if you lost a permanent tooth?
By adolescence, a person’s baby teeth have fallen out and been replaced with permanent teeth. Tooth loss that occurs during adolescence or beyond most likely involves a permanent tooth.
Can a dentist fix a loose tooth?
A tooth may become loose after an injury or as a result of gum disease or tooth grinding and clenching (called bruxism). If a tooth feels loose, it is wise to schedule a dental exam right away. Depending on the cause of looseness, treatment may be as conservative as deep cleaning to remove bacteria and infection in the gums. A tooth that has loosened due to an injury might recover on its own.
For your convenience, our offices are open seven days a week. We accept walk-ins and offer affordable care and financing options. If you have lost permanent teeth, contact a dentist at one of our locations to learn about your options. Call us today at 844.365.DENTAL or request an appointment through our website at any time.