Why Should I Replace Missing Teeth?
A common misconception is that when you have a tooth that is giving you problems, the cheapest option available is removing the tooth. If you have a tooth that has experienced significant decay or trauma, we are often able to save it with a crown or a root canal. Those options may cost more initially than an extraction, so some patients are inclined to believe that a tooth extraction is the lowest cost solution – the truth is that there are many costly consequences to having a tooth removed and not replaced.
Are Dental Implants Really Worth it?
Over the past decade or so, the success rates of dental implants have reached an impressive pinnacle. Depending on what study you are looking at, dental implant success rates in the United States is somewhere between 96 - 99%. Such incredible success rates are thanks to the knowledge base around the procedure growing by leaps and bounds. The materials that we use in dental implant placement procedures have come quite a way as well.
"Most studies show
that dental implant success rates are
between 96 - 99%."
Loss of Bone Feedback From Tooth LossWhen a tooth is lost or removed and not immediately replaced, the bone in your jaw loses important feedback. Every single part of your body relies on some form of feedback, and if that feedback is lost, that part of your body will begin to atrophy. In the case of the jaw bone, it relies on each of your teeth for tactile feedback that occurs when you rest your jaw, eat, or speak. When you remove a tooth and don’t replace it with a dental implant, the bone in your jaw loses that tactile feedback and will eventually begin to recede.
Soft Tissue Health and Tooth LossThe health of gums and soft tissues in the mouth is just as important as tooth and bone health. Gum health plays a direct role in the health of your teeth. Many people don’t realize it, but gums are affected by the same bacteria that cause cavities in your teeth.
Periodontal (gum) disease and tooth lossPlaque and tartar that builds up on the surface of your teeth can, over time, infect the tooth with a cavity and lead to tooth loss. Similarly, plaque and tartar that builds up on the surface of the roots of your teeth can infect your gums, leading to tooth and bone loss in the jaw. When the gums become infected with plaque and tartar, that is a condition that is called periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is a serious issue that has two stages; early (known as gum disease) and late (known as periodontal disease). In the early stages, gum disease can be treated and even reversed. It can be hard to realize that you have gum disease because the signs of it are fairly subtle and pain/discomfort is not a symptom.
Periodontal disease symptoms
Soft tissue graftsPeriodontal disease can make it hard for your mouth to recover from dental implant surgery and can lead to aesthetic issues with the finished product. We will sometimes suggest that you have a soft tissue graft if you suffer from periodontal disease and would like to have dental implants surgically placed.
Changes in the Facial StructureEventually, with enough bone recession in your jaw, you will begin to notice a change in the visible structure of your face; it will take on a sunken look, typical of those who have experienced significant tooth loss. At some point during this bone recession, you will no longer have enough healthy bone in your jaw to support a dental implant. If you have experienced significant bone loss in your jaw and would like to have dental implants place, we will sometimes opt for a bone graft procedure to bring your bone levels to a point where it can support a dental implant and make you a candidate for dental implants.
Questions About the Effects of Missing Teeth?If you still have questions about a missing tooth, or if you are ready to schedule your appointment, please call us at 480.935.6295 today. We are looking forward to seeing you at our Phoenix dental office and helping you replace your missing teeth!