If you’re only missing one or two teeth, you may feel that having them replaced would be unnecessary and expensive. However, if you leave open spaces in your mouth, you could experience long-term problems that will be more uncomfortable and far more expensive than tooth replacement. One way to avoid these long-term problems is to have your teeth replaced with dental implants.
The Long-Term Costs of Missing Teeth
One or two missing teeth might not seem like much of a problem other than to affect the look of your smile. However, leaving a gap in your mouth can lead to long-term problems that could be very serious. When there is empty space in your mouth, such as that left behind by a missing tooth, your other teeth will move to fill that space. Teeth shifting out of their appropriate position can lead to one or more of the following problems:
- Abnormal wear patterns
- Eventually, the loss of more teeth
In addition, if you have lost a tooth, your body will naturally reabsorb the calcium in the bone that makes up that tooth socket. This reduces the bone mass in your jaw, and can lead to jawbone atrophy, particularly if you have several missing teeth.
Choosing Dental Implants
The best option to replace missing teeth, or even a single missing tooth, is dental implants. In addition to providing a prosthetic tooth to fill the gap in your smile, a dental implant also consists of an artificial tooth root, which will help prevent atrophy in your jawbone. Your dentist or oral surgeon can determine if you are a good candidate for dental implants.
Dental implants might not be the best choice for you if:
- You are a smoker
- You have gum disease
- You lack sufficient bone mass in your jaw
- You have diabetes or an autoimmune disorder
Some of these issues can be overcome with preparation. For example, you can be treated for gum disease before your implant procedure. You might also be able to benefit from bone grafts to shore up your jaw, or be able to support an implant-anchored denture even if your jawbone is not strong enough to support traditional implants.
Let our team evaluate you to determine if dental implants are right for you by calling us today at Jackson Oral Surgery.