Hidden Consequences of Losing Teeth
Your teeth hold a lot of benefits when they maintain a complete set in your mouth. Losing any has some consequences that accompany it. Your smile will be affected, speaking, eating, and intimacy may be more difficult and it can dwindle your self-confidence.
The effects of tooth loss are not limited to these as there are some hidden consequences that affect not only your appearance but also your overall health. At ManiDental, we offer dental implants in Elkin, NC, as a tooth-replacement option to help maintain your bone and facial structure.
Tooth loss invariably leads to a loss of jaw bone. Bone requires enough stimulation to maintain its form and density. As for the jaw bone, the stimulation is derived from the teeth while they make small contact with each other daily. The small tension produced by this contact is transmitted to the bone, inducing it to regenerate constantly. When you lose a tooth, the stimulation it offers disappears.
The first year of tooth loss is noted with a 25% decrease in bone width. This is accompanied by an overall 4 millimeters decrease in height over the next few years. As more teeth are lost, bone loss rises, which can reduce the distance from the nose to the chin and also cause the lower third of the face to relatively collapse. Lacking the structural support of the jaw bone, the lips sag; that’s why toothless individuals often appear sad. Furthermore, excess bone loss can make people more susceptible to jaw fractures.
You may also begin to notice that some of your remaining teeth start to shift into the spaces left open by your missing teeth. This movement causes additional bite issues and jaw joint (TMJ) pain. Lastly, the inability to eat some healthy foods like raw fruits and vegetables hampers your nutrient intake, leading to poor health.
How Dental Implants Prevent Bone Loss
Aside from helping people without teeth look and feel alive again, dental implants prevent bone loss. That’s because they are built with titanium, which enables them to fuse to living bones. Dental implants support and stimulate the bone by becoming a permanent part of the jaw bone. They help maintain bone volume and density.
Dental implants are inserted during a minor surgical procedure while using a local anesthetic. After healing, it is topped with a lifelike dental crown. Altogether, these perfect components look, feel, and function just like your natural teeth. Dental implants record a success rate of 95% – the highest of any tooth-replacement method.
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Other Options for Tooth Replacement
Other tooth-replacement options apart from dental implants include removable dentures and fixed bridgework that utilizes the adjacent teeth. The disadvantages of using any of these options are that they damage the bodily structure on which they rest.
For example, fixed bridges depend on support from two healthy adjacent teeth, which must be shortened and capped. This action makes them prone to decay and root canal issues. Removable partial dentures latch onto the existing teeth, which eventually become loose in the long run. On the other hand, full dentures compress the bony ridges that support the teeth, thereby speeding up the bone loss process you aim to avoid.
Dentures and bridges are less expensive than dental implants, but only when assessed on a short-term basis. Since both tooth-replacement options may cause other problems and need renewal, they don’t offer similar long-term value like dental implants. When searching for a lasting cost-effective investment in your comfort, health, and well-being, dental implants are the best choice. Reach us today at our dental office in Elkin, NC, to replace your missing teeth.
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