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Dentltown Magazine Feature October 2014 Dentist Slave Lake
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© 2002 by Slave Lake Dental

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EFFECTS OF MISSING TEETH

When a tooth is missing it is important to replace the tooth as soon as possible to avoid complications. If treatment is delayed serious issues could arise. A missing tooth can affect your bite, speech, appearance and eating.

Bone Loss

When a tooth is missing, the surrounding bone will begin to deteriorate causing bone loss. The longer a tooth is missing, the more significant the bone loss. Generally, people will lose up to 25% of their supporting jawbone structure within the first year after tooth loss. This is why it is important to replace a missing tooth as soon as possible.

Shifting of Other Teeth

When a tooth is missing for a prolonged time, the surrounding teeth begin to shirt into the open space. This shifting causes both cosmetic but more importantly functional concerns. Shifting could cause serious bite issues as you are now applying stress to the adjacent teeth. As you rely more on your remaining teeth, you increase the chance that they will wear out prematurely or be damaged. You may also experience headaches and/or jaw pain. 

Difficulty Speaking

 

Many people have to avoid saying certain words due to missing teeth because all teeth serve a purpose for proper annunciation.

Difficulty Chewing

All of your teeth serve a purpose, especially when eating. When a tooth is missing, eating can become strenuous and  place additional forces on the remaining teeth which can increase the chance that they will wear out prematurely or be damaged.

OPTIONS TO REPLACE MISSING TEETH

There are a number of different options to replace your missing teeth, from temporary to long-lasting solutions. Here are the main tooth replacement options listed:

Dental Implant     <- Most Popular Option*

The most popular option to replace a missing tooth is the have a dental implant placed because they are a permanent way to replace missing teeth.​

  • Matched to feel and look just like natural teeth

  • Prevents other teeth from shifting out of position

  • Supports cheeks and lips so the face does not sag causing an aged appearance

  • Restores comfort while eating, chewing and even speaking

  • Improves the look of the mouth and smile

  • With proper care, dental implants can last a lifetime

  • The dental implant integrates directly into the bone and soft tissue preventing bone loss

  • Non-removable

  • Distributes the forces in your bite properly and evenly

Dental Implant used to replace a missing tooth

Fixed Bridge  

A fixed bridge is made up of two or more crowns for the teeth that rest on either side of the gap, anchoring the bridge in place. 

  • Matched to feel and look just like natural teeth

  • Prevents other teeth from shifting out of position

  • Supports cheeks and lips so the face does not sag causing an aged appearance

  • Restores comfort while eating, chewing and even speaking

  • Improves the look of the mouth and smile

  • Distributes the forces in your bite properly and evenly

  • Average lifespan of a bridge is between 5 to 15 years. Damage from tooth decay may occur

  • Non-removable as it is cemented onto the prepared adjacent natural teeth

Click here to learn more about Bridges.

A fixed bridge used to replace a missing tooth

Partial Denture 

A removable partial denture usually consists of replacement teeth attached to a pink acrylic base, which is sometimes connected by metal clasps that hold the partial denture in place.

Partial Denture used to replace a missing tooth
  • Matched to feel and look just like natural teeth

  • Prevents other teeth from shifting out of position

  • Supports cheeks and lips so the face does not sag causing an aged appearance

  • Restores comfort while eating, chewing and even speaking

  • Improves the look of the mouth and smile

  • Distributes the forces in your bite properly and evenly

  • Average lifespan of a partial denture is up to 5 years. May require occasional adjustments

  • Removable appliance attached to adjacent teeth on both sides

  • Less invasive procedure

Click here to learn more about Partial Dentures.

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