Whilst having a missing tooth might feel embarrassing to some, perhaps because they are so elf-conscious that they feel they are the only person who has a lost teeth, however, your dentist will tell you that having missing teeth is far more common amongst the adult population than you might think.
There are millions of people across the world who have missing teeth, and even in countries with excellent dental care, tooth loss is still prevalent. Causes include tooth decay, accidents, and medical conditions such as hypodontia, which is a congenital condition that causes tooth loss in around 5% of adults.
Some people are happy to live with missing teeth and adjust to the gaps that they have. For others, the need to find a means of replacing the tooth becomes a mission. If you fall into that first category then you conceivably could stop reading now. For others there are several reasons why you might wish to have some form of replacement tooth or you may be asking why or what are dental implants?
Reasons For Replacing Teeth
Avoid Overworking Your Other Teeth
When we lose a tooth, especially one which I used primarily for chewing food, such as our molars at the back, we tend to adjust the way we eat and use other teeth more than before. This can overwork them and risks them being damaged through excessive wear and tear.
Restore Your Confidence
It is certainly true that if we lose any teeth at the front, we are more reluctant to smile, and in some cases to open our mouths to speak. By replacing those missing teeth we regain our confidence to do all those activities again.
Avoid Compromising Your Jaw Bone’s Structure
With teeth missing, the gum tissue and jawbone in that area have less pressure placed on them, and this can lead to our gums receding and our jawbone shrinking. These changes can alter our jawline, and ultimately our appearance in a negative way.
Ability To Eat As Before
Simple really, but when we have our full set teeth, including any replacements, we are able to eat our food, and more importantly, enjoy it, in the same way we did before.
It Can Be A Permanent Solution
When we take you through some of the options for replacing teeth you will see that at least one of them could be considered a long-term solution, in other words, unlike dentures, which are not permanent, you will not need to continually replace them.
Teeth Replacement Options
These are fitted to tiny titanium screws which are embedded in the jawbone. They look and feel very much like natural teeth, and their durability and strength mean they can last for 15 years or more making them as permanent a tooth replacement as it is possible to have.
Normally made from acrylic material, and occasionally held within a metal frame, dentures are artificial teeth that offer an inexpensive solution, however, they require a lot of care, and last no longer than 5 years.
This solution fixes an artificial tooth to your current teeth using metal wings. They normally last up to 7 years, which means they are not regarded as permanent, and one downside is that the metal holding them in place is often visible.
Instead of using metal wings, a conventional bridge will use crowns on adjacent teeth to hold it in place. They last a lot longer than dentures or resin-bonded bridges, however, they can wear away at the teeth on either side and cause them damage.