Do you really need to replace that missing tooth? Statistics from the American College of Prosthodontics show that 178 million Americans are missing at least one tooth. An additional 35 million people are missing all of their teeth. So, why are people not replacing their teeth, and why should they? Find out more about tooth-replacement options from Dr. van Zyl.

Why Do People Lose Their Teeth?

People lose their teeth for a variety of reasons, including injury; chronic illness such as diabetes, cancer or gum disease; and age. But no matter the reason, replacing missing teeth is a good idea.

Top Reasons to Replace Missing Teeth

The No. 1 reason to replace a missing tooth or missing teeth is bone resorption and bone loss. Without the tooth in place in the jaw, the tissue where the tooth should be begins to change. These changes can translate to deteriorating jaw bone, loosening and movement of the teeth next to the gap (which negatively affects the balance of the bite), and also changes to facial structure. Loss of a tooth can also increase the risk of gum disease in the space.

Another reason to replace missing teeth is that losing a tooth or teeth can negatively affect the ability to speak, bite and chew. These changes may cause you to chew in other areas of your mouth, which can prematurely wear those teeth down. Missing several or all of your teeth can leave you at risk of malnutrition and affect your overall health.

Gaps in the mouth can also cause speech impediments, which can make people feel self-conscious.

Another reason to replace missing teeth is that a gappy smile can reduce self-esteem and self-confidence about your appearance. It may also cause some individuals to avoid relationships, stop smiling and also skip job interviews.

Tooth-Replacement Options

There are several different options available if you want to replace your missing tooth or teeth. These options include dental bridges, dentures and dental implants.

Dental implants are the ideal option for tooth replacement because they are durable, last for many years with good oral hygiene habits and are cost effective. Dental implants also help to stimulate jawbone tissue growth, which can help keep your jaw healthy and strong.

Are you considering dental implants to replace your missing tooth or teeth? Let’s talk! Call Dr. van Zyl today at 479-337-4070 to schedule a consultation.