Many people are missing a tooth or a few teeth. The American Dental Association estimates that 69% of Americans between the ages of 35 and 44 are missing at least a single tooth. And if you think that’s eye opening, check this — 25% of Americans over age 74 are missing all of their teeth. You read that right.
It’s a shame because dental implants are such an effective replacement for missing teeth. At Implant Dentistry of Florida, dental implants are a large part of our business, and we think they are the superior option for tooth replacement…if, that is, the patient opts to replace a missing tooth or teeth.
Why should you replace a missing tooth?
If you look at those numbers above, it’s obvious that many people have decided not to replace a missing tooth. There are various reasons for this. Some people think replacing a tooth will be very expensive, which isn’t the case. The road to decreasing oral health that begins with a missing tooth will be far more costly than getting an implant. Other people are leery of the procedure, expecting it to be a painful one. This isn’t true, either, as placing an implant isn’t much more painful than having a filling placed. Plus, the pain of conditions such as gum disease, which can result from deteriorating oral health, is nothing short of intense.
Here are the problems with not replacing a missing tooth.
Your teeth stay in place thanks to pressure from the adjacent teeth. Think of it like a football game with bleacher seating. When the seats are all full, people stay in their places, as they can’t move either way due to the person sitting directly next to them. But then think what happens when a person leaves. Now the people on both sides of the empty seat slide over to fill the gap.
The same thing happens with your teeth when a gap develops between two teeth. Now, without the pressure to stay in place, the adjacent teeth slide over into the gap. This can create real problems with your overall tooth alignment and with your bite.
- Jawbone erosion
When you bite and chew, a tremendous amount of force is generated. This force is transferred from the teeth down into the jawbone beneath the teeth. It is this bite force energy that stimulates the jawbone, triggering it to continually produce new cells, keeping the jawbone healthy.
When you’re missing a tooth or a series of teeth, the jawbone beneath the gap no longer receives this energy from the teeth above. It immediately starts to deteriorate. This is the reason people missing all of their teeth often appear as if the lower portion of their face is collapsing inward. It is.
- Nutrition and self-confidence
If you’re missing a series of teeth, you’re probably avoiding certain foods that are hard to chew. These include healthy foods such as nuts and fruits, and this can leave some serious holes in your nutrition.
Missing teeth can also make you self-conscious about your smile. You may not even realize it, but if you’re missing a tooth that shows up in your outward smile, you may avoid smiling to cover the evidence. Plus, missing teeth can create a whistling sound when pronouncing certain words.
If you’re missing a tooth or teeth, call the team at Implant Dentistry of Florida. We’re experts at implant dentistry, and we can give you your smile back. Whether it’s a single implant or implant-anchored dentures, we have the solutions for your tooth loss. Call us at 321-259-9429 and let’s check out your smile.