Effects of Tooth Loss
Oral Surgeon Dallas
Tooth loss can affect us at any stage of life, but the likelihood of tooth loss increases as the age bracket rises. As we age, the loss of multiple teeth also becomes more common. At Dallas Oral Surgery Associates, we provide a range of cost-effective treatment solutions for one or more missing teeth to restore your health, confidence, and your missing smile.
Why Replace Teeth?
All lost, removed, or missing teeth should ideally be replaced with a prosthetic. When a missing tooth leaves behind a socket in the gums, this socket can gather bacteria and potentially become infected. The chances of this happening with single teeth are quite low, but this becomes more likely as more teeth are lost.
The loss of the tooth and the tooth root also directly harms the jawbone. Without the stimulus and force of your bite on the tooth root, the jawbone underneath can begin to atrophy and deteriorate, resulting in a loss of bone mass. This deterioration can make it difficult or impossible to place implants without a bone graft, which will extend the length of treatment significantly.
Patients are often most impacted by the loss of front teeth. With the loss of your front teeth, you are likely to lose most of your confidence. Missing front teeth will also augment the shape of your lips, as the lips are supported by and sit against the front teeth. Changes in your facial features become more noticeable as more teeth are lost. These factors, as well as a decreased capacity or willingness to chew or smile, can noticeably impact your quality of life.
How Are Teeth Replaced?
At Dallas Oral Surgery Associates, multiple sets of teeth can be replaced with two kinds of prosthetics: dentures and dental implants.
Dentures are removable, replaceable, and custom-fit dental prosthetics. In our office, we offer partial and complete dentures. These will be molded to the mouth to provide a solid fit. Most partial dentures will be connected to a covering that you fit either to the roof of your mouth or on your other teeth, similar to dental bridges.
Dentures are an inexpensive tooth replacement option, but they are also much weaker and less stable than your natural teeth or other tooth replacement options. Bridge-type dentures will be much weaker if they are replacing multiple adjacent teeth. They may also need regular maintenance and replacement, as the bindings and dental glue may come loose over time.
Dental implants, however, are a stronger and more permanent option. They are a more expensive alternative, but they can be inserted into the jaw permanently without the need for removal or replacement. These replacement teeth can be as durable or more durable than your natural teeth. Thanks to the dental post, or the screw placed in the jawbone, the tooth has a strong anchor to prevent the implant from coming loose. This post can support up to two replacement teeth on its own. If more than two teeth in succession are being replaced, we typically add two implants to make an implant-supported bridge. This option is similar to that of a dental prosthetic, but it is more durable and stable because of its attachment to the jaw.
Not everyone is a candidate for dental implants, however. To receive a dental implant treatment, you must have a strong jawbone and adequate bone mass. You must also have adequate oral health and be free of oral diseases like periodontitis, which can cause infection to travel into the jaw when an implant is placed.
If your jawbone has lost density or mass, our surgeons may be able to provide bone grafts to restore its strength. Our surgeons will be able to provide expert treatment recommendations during a consult appointment to determine if bone grafting will be necessary. We want you to have the perfect smile that you deserve, and the restorative process may include a variety of treatments based on your health and needs. Give us a call at 214-363-9946 to schedule your consultation and see if dental implants are right for you.