Are you worried about losing a tooth, or maybe have recently lost one? You might be wondering what’s next, especially if you can’t afford the dental care necessary to restore a missing tooth. It might seem impossible to get the care you need, but don’t hesitate to contact our Kennewick dentist office – we’ll try to help because the worst thing you can do to a lost tooth is wait!
Teeth are a fundamental part of your jaw – their health effects your bone and soft tissue and the loss of a single tooth can be devastating to your overall oral health. Losing a tooth isn’t the end of the world and we can replace them with life-like and permanent restorations. The key is simply to do it quickly!
The Initial Loss
When you first lose a tooth it can be shocking, especially once the healing is over and you find yourself adjusting to life without it! Depending on where a tooth is in your mouth it can have a big effect on your day-to-day life. A lost molar or premolar can make chewing difficult, while a front tooth can make smiling and eating embarrassing.
In the time following the loss of a tooth you’ll probably develop a few new habits, like chewing differently, putting more stress on other teeth, a having to adjust to the use of different muscles. That can lead to discomfort and soreness, and in some cases can lead to a real toothache!
Bone Resorption: Serious Stuff
As you change your jaw usage and aggravate your teeth, there’s a major factor at play here for why it could be destructive: bone resorption. When a tooth is lost, it leaves behind a lot of bone that lost its only reason to be around. Your body knows that and reabsorbs the bone in a process known as resorption.
The resorption of one tooth worth of bone can make other teeth loose, and you know what that means: they fall out. Bone resorption is one of the most serious risks following tooth loss and it can be the start of a destructive domino effect in which tooth after tooth is lost.
You may have noticed an older person with a sunken face – that’s the end result of bone resorption. By the time most or all teeth are lost the bone in the jaw has shrunken so much that there isn’t much left to even support dentures!
What Can Be Done To Stop Bone Loss?
There are several different methods that are used to stop bone resorption due to tooth loss. The most common way that it is kept in check is through the use of a dental crown. Crowns do not completely stop bone loss since there isn’t anything in the empty socket, but they do help stabilize your teeth!
The preferred method of preventing bone resorption is to put something in the socket! That never used to be a practice, but with today’s dental implants you can stop resorption before it even starts!
What Is A Dental Implant?
A dental implant is made out of titanium and looks like a small, fat screw. It’s placed right in your empty tooth socket where it bonds to your bone over a couple months, creating an incredibly tight bond that’s just like having a natural tooth!
Dental implants can replace a single tooth, and can also be used to replace several teeth – if you wear dentures we can even modify them to snap onto implants and hold them in place! All of these benefits and the preservation of your bone – it’s almost too good to be true, but implants are very real!
If you’ve been worrying about tooth loss and your best long-term plan, then you should definitely plan on dental implants! If you want to find out more about these amazing dental restorations call Marineland Dental Care today at 509-591-0515! You can also request an appointment using our online form. We look forward to working with you!