Missing teeth are a problem that plague millions of people. Whether you’re missing one tooth or several teeth, missing teeth can cause more than self-esteem issues. In fact, this issue can impact your speech and your ability to eat.
What causes missing teeth?
The most common cause of missing teeth is decay and gum disease. Both issues are caused by poor oral hygiene. If you aren’t brushing twice a day, flossing once a day, and avoiding high sugar foods then you’re putting your mouth at risk for decay.
When bacteria have sugar to feed off of they produce acid, which in turn eats away at your teeth. Over time this causes decay by ruining your plaque. Additionally, long-term bacterial exposure allows bacteria to actually colonize in your teeth’s dentin.
As decay becomes more and more severe the ligaments and roots that secure your teeth to your jaw bone begin to loosen and eventually you lose your teeth.
What about genetics?
Genetics can play a huge role in whether a person loses their teeth or not. Many people are simply born with weak teeth that are naturally more vulnerable to decay. For those who are prone to tooth loss, the dentist might prescribe fluoride treatments from an early age. This can help strengthen baby teeth and builds up systemically to also strengthen adult teeth.
How do you treat missing teeth?
There are several options to treat missing teeth. Bridge work requires that adjacent teeth are stripped down to accommodate the bridge and prosthetics. This can cause issues down the line if you run into further decay.
The best option to replace missing teeth is implants.
What are dental implants?
Dental implants are metal rods that are directly inserted into your jawline. Once these rods are inserted a permanent crown is affixed to the rod.
Dental implants require several visits and are a surgery, however, they are a permanent solution that promises to give patients their quality of life back, along with aesthetic appeal.
The first step in getting dental implants is to visit Dr. Hoang for a consultation. Dr. Hoang will take x-rays and impressions of your mouth to get a picture of what he has to work with. Sometimes to prevent any issues from occurring that could have been prevented he will have a CT taken.
After the initial visit, he will prepare your jawline and install the metal rod. This requires him to drill into and prep the bone and recovery can take several months. Patients who require bone grafting should expect a longer recovery time. If he’s working on teeth that are visible he’s likely to provide you with a temporary prosthetic so you don’t feel self-conscious while you heal.
During the second surgery, Dr. Hoang will affix permanent crowns to each metal rod. This completes the process. Implants are permanent and should be cared for like your natural teeth. This means brushing, flossing, and getting regular dental checkups. Contact us to learn more about dental implants or to schedule an appointment.