Missing Teeth – Consequences and potential solutions
There are a host of dental Issues that can result In tooth loss. For the younger population, It could be Injury or congenitally missing teeth; for the adult population, It could be decay, advanced gum disease, fracture, or failed root canal therapy. The negative consequences of not replacing missing teeth Include Impaired facial appearance, decreased social enjoyment, collapsed bite and Jaw relationship, teeth shifting and drifting around, and overloading the remaining teeth. In addition, chewing ability drops with missing teeth. Research shows poorly chewed food Impairs proper digestion and nutrition, which then leads to Illness, compromised quality of life. and perhaps even a shortened life span! For a long time now, dentists have realized that restoring missing teeth can make a big Improvement In a person’s aesthetics, function, comfort, and quality of life.
Why the dental Implant Is the best treatment choice to replace missing teeth
Missing teeth, or edentullsm, can range from a single tooth missing, multiple teeth missing, a whole arch of teeth missing, or both arches of teeth missing. Historically, the traditional replacement methods for missing teeth were fixed bridges or removable dentures. A fixed bridge Is like a crown fabricated on each tooth adjacent to a missing tooth, with the newly replaced “prosthetic” tooth anchored to the crown on either side. Fixed bridges worked well, but the abutment (or supporting) teeth still were susceptible to decay and to gum disease. Removable dentures (partial or complete) work well, but they can be bulky or unstable. Removable dentures are associated with reduced chewing efficacy (only 60% of natural teeth), loosening of abutment teeth with time, bone loss under the denture, and denture sores. Over the past
3 decades, Implant dentistry has experienced tremendous Innovation and breakthrough, and It Is regarded as the No. 1 treatment choice for restoring missing teeth. Compared to other treatment choices, Implant replacement Is a stand-alone solution, and It has a success rate of 95% over 1 o yrs. Patients with Implant replacement demonstrate a high level of comfort, eating enjoyment, esthetic satisfaction, and a chewing efficacy close to natural teeth. The Implant also preserves the Jaw bone and becomes “one” with the patient. This has a very positive psychological effect for the patient, and patients generally perceive the Implant prosthesis as part of their own body. At Wilbraham Dental Associates, we are strongly committed to helping you achieve your optimal oral health. If you have dental related questions, please feel free to call us at 413- 279-2016, visit our website www. wllbrahamdentalassoclates.com, or visit us In Post Office Park, Wilbraham.
Madeleine Zhao, DMD