Missing one or more teeth can affect not only the aesthetics of your smile but also your long-term oral health. Even if you have lost one tooth, the remaining natural teeth can shift and overcrowd to fill the gap. It is difficult to clean between crooked and overcrowded teeth, which means it is easy for plaque to build up.
People with missing teeth have a higher chance of developing gum disease and tooth decay. Seeking treatment as soon as possible is better for your oral health and will limit the damage. Failing to replace your teeth can:
- Impact your self-esteem
- Alter your speech
- Make it difficult to chew food
- Cause surrounding teeth to shift toward the gaps
- Increase your risk of gum disease and tooth decay
- Lead to bone loss in the jaw
- Alter your bite
- Decrease your overall quality of life
Replacing missing teeth not only prevents tooth and gum infections but also helps to restore full bite function. Dr. Keith Boenning and Nathan Dancykier offer restorative dental treatments for dental concerns like missing teeth.
Our treatments will blend in with your natural smile and will be made to last. Our dentists provide examinations and assess your smile to determine the right dental treatment for your specific needs. They also take oral health, budget, and dental history into account to create an efficient treatment plan.
Replacing Missing Teeth
Dr. Boenning and Dr. Dancykier help patients restore their smiles in Towson, MD. There are an array of options to choose from, depending on the needs of the patient.
One or more missing teeth can be replaced with tooth implants. Dental implants replace the teeth at the root and are a permanent solution for tooth loss. They are more durable than any other tooth replacement solution, which allows them to function just like natural teeth. If you want long-lasting bridges or dentures, we can secure multiple prosthetic teeth with dental implants.
A dental bridge can replace one tooth or multiple consecutive missing teeth. A bridge is made up of prosthetic teeth that are fused together in a row. You can choose to anchor your bridge with natural teeth or dental implants. Implants ensure that bridges last longer and do not need to be replaced as frequently as removable dental bridges. Using dental implants also means you will not need to damage any remaining healthy teeth.
Full and Partial Dentures
Our dentists offer both partial and full dentures. We will suggest partial dentures if you are missing multiple teeth and have some healthy teeth remaining. A full denture will replace a whole row of missing teeth on the top or bottom arch (or both). We are also able to secure an arch of prosthetic teeth with four to six dental implants.
Dentures combat facial sagging and restore the form and function of teeth. However, denture implants are the only solution to prevent bone loss in the jaw.
Missing Teeth FAQs
What happens if I don’t replace my missing teeth?
If you do not replace missing teeth, many dental problems can arise over time. For instance, patients with missing teeth may experience self-consciousness about their appearance. Patients may also experience damage to adjacent teeth and teeth misalignment. This misalignment increases the risk of gum disease and tooth decay. Additionally, missing teeth will lead to bone loss in the jaw, which can cause facial sagging. Lastly, if several or more teeth are missing from one area of your mouth, you may experience difficulty speaking properly or eating.
Can you replace a missing tooth after years?
Yes, it is possible to replace a missing tooth even after many years have passed. A dentist or oral surgeon can recommend dental implants, bridges, or partial dentures. Patients often prefer dental implants because they mimic the function and appearance of real teeth. However, if you have experienced significant bone loss in the jaw because of the missing tooth, a dentist or oral surgeon will likely require a bone graft before placing the tooth implant. Consult a dentist or an oral surgeon to determine the best option for your situation.
Do missing teeth cause bone loss?
Yes, missing teeth can cause bone loss. When you lose a tooth, the bone that once supported it starts to break down due to a lack of stimulation from the tooth root. This process occurs gradually. The tooth loss leads to decreased bone density and volume in the area where the tooth was. To avoid future bone loss, you should have a dentist or oral surgeon replace your missing teeth.
What are the most commonly missing teeth?
The most commonly missing teeth are the third molars (wisdom teeth). Dentists or oral surgeons usually remove wisdom teeth due to impaction, lack of space, or decay. The other commonly missing teeth are the lateral incisors and the second premolars. Lateral incisors can be congenitally missing or lost due to trauma or decay. Second premolars, on the other hand, might be missing due to a similar range of causes. Consult a dentist to determine the best course of action for replacing your missing teeth.
Is it okay not to replace missing teeth?
Some patients choose to live without replacing missing teeth. However, most dentists and oral surgeons will recommend against not replacing missing teeth. Missing teeth can lead to changes in one’s facial structure, bite problems, and difficulties with eating and speaking. Additionally, missing teeth can cause nearby teeth to move out of place. Missing teeth can also increase the chance of periodontal disease. You should consult a dentist or oral surgeon to discuss your options for replacing missing teeth.
Can missing teeth cause your face to sag?
Yes, missing teeth can cause your face to sag over time. Tooth loss can cause facial sagging because it decreases bone mass, which supports the cheeks, lips, and other parts of the face. Over time, without those supports in place due to lost teeth, the cheeks, lips, and other parts of the face start to sink down and sag. Replacing missing teeth with dental implants, bridges, or dentures can help prevent facial sagging by supporting and maintaining proper bone structure.
Contact Our Towson, MD Dental Office
Do you need to replace one or multiple missing teeth? Call 410.324.2294 or request a consultation with Dr. Boenning or Dr. Dancykier on our website today. We look forward to seeing you at your next dental appointment.