Missing a Tooth?


Dental implant assembly diagram from High Plains Periodontics & Implant Dentistry
Your teeth have many important functions. They allow you to bite and chew. They control airflow for speech. They play a crucial role in the appearance of your smile. The teeth are even essential for the health of your jawbone. Taking care of your teeth is important for keeping them strong and healthy. Sometimes, however, things can happen, and you lose a tooth. High Plains Periodontics & Implant Dentistry is here to help.

What Causes Tooth Loss?

There are numerous causes of tooth loss. One of the biggest causes is gum disease. Gum disease happens when plaque and bacteria irritate your gums, causing them to become inflamed. The inflamed tissue begins to pull away from the surfaces of the teeth, and bacteria fall below the gumline. Once there, the bacteria attack the supporting structures of your teeth, weakening them. The teeth become loose and fall out. Other causes of tooth loss include:
•  Facial trauma, including falls, sports injuries, and car accidents.
•  Severe tooth decay.
•  Bruxism, a condition in which you grind and clench your teeth.

Effects of Tooth Loss

Losing teeth, even losing just one, has several effects on your life.
•  Depending upon the location of tooth loss, your smile and confidence can be impacted.
•  Biting and chewing becomes more difficult, which can affect digestion and nutrition.
•  Food can get trapped in the space, increasing the risk of gum disease.
•  You may develop a lisp when speaking.
•  The pressure on your adjacent teeth is increased, increasing your risk of tooth damage.
•  Your adjacent teeth can begin to shift out of alignment as your jawbone weakens, causing your bite to be thrown off.

Traditional Treatments for Missing Teeth

Traditionally missing teeth have been treated with bridges and dentures. Bridges are typically used to replace a single missing tooth but can replace up to three missing teeth in a row. Bridges are anchored into place with crowns on your adjacent teeth. Dentures are removable prosthetic teeth that are available as partial or full. Partial dentures replace sections of missing teeth while full dentures function as a full arch replacement. All of these options are still available today. They restore the functions of your missing teeth as well as your smile. However, they cannot stop bone loss in the jaw, and therefore need to be replaced every few years to accommodate the changes.

Dental Implants for Replacing a Missing Tooth

Dental implants are a modern alternative to bridges and dentures. It is a unique treatment that has become the most popular option. Dental implants use small titanium posts to support ceramic crowns. The posts are surgically placed into your jawbone, which fuses to the posts in a process known as osseointegration. The posts stabilize within your jaw, providing secure support for your replacement teeth.

Along with replacing the functions of your missing teeth and your smile, dental implants are comfortable and easy to care for. They also provide your jaw with stimulation, just like the roots of your natural teeth. This stops and prevents bone loss in the jaw, helping to keep your jaw strong and healthy. Dental implants are a long-term solution that is designed to be permanent. If you are missing a tooth, having that tooth replaced as quickly as possible is necessary for getting back your quality of life. Call High Plains Periodontics & Implant Dentistry today at 806-686-4366 for more information.
806-686-4366
6123 79th Ave, Lubbock, TX 79424

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