Don’t Put Out an Amber Alert on Your Missing Teeth — Replace Them
For most people it would seem odd to have a number of missing teeth. But a recent survey by the National Institute of Health found that in the U.S. people between the ages of 20 and 64 are missing and average of three teeth.
Many don’t see a problem with this. What’s the big deal if I’m missing a tooth or two? I can just tell everyone I play hockey! And in New Hampshire, that excuse could fly.
But at Kalil & Kress we want out patients to know that delaying replacing a missing tooth or teeth can have serious consequences down the road.
When there is a gap in your teeth, the teeth on both sides of the gap tend to try to move into the gap to fill it. This makes the teeth misaligned and can create problems with chewing and even speaking. In some cases, it can affect what foods the person can eat, leading to nutritional problems.
Jawbone erosion is another possible consequence of tooth loss. In normal conditions, the biting and chewing pressure produced by a tooth stimulates the underlying jawbone to continue regenerating new bone mass. The absence of pressure caused by a missing tooth can lead to loss of significant bone mass in the underlying jaw. As jawbone atrophy progresses, it can affect the appearance as the lower third of the face can collapse inward, a characteristic you’ve seen in older people with tooth loss. Jawbone atrophy will also affect the eventual replacement of the tooth with a dental implant, as the jawbone will need a bone grafting procedure to regain enough mass to support the implant.
Dental implants for your tooth loss replacement needs
At Kalil & Kress, we prefer dental implants for replacing missing teeth. A titanium implant is placed into the jawbone in the root hole from the former tooth. The bone is then allowed to re-grow around the implant. Then a titanium post is attached to the implant and an artificial tooth is attached to the post. The false tooth then feels and functions exactly like the natural tooth that was there before.
If you’re missing a tooth, ask about implants next time you’re in for your regular checkup. Call us at 603-880-7004 to make an appointment.