Tooth loss negatively influences your self-esteem, including your desire to smile and ability to enjoy a diverse diet. But missing teeth also impact your oral health. Fortunately, your Phoenix dentist offers solutions.
Let’s look at how tooth loss impacts your oral health and why it’s important to replace missing teeth.
How Tooth Loss Impacts Oral Health
What Is Tooth Migration?
When teeth are lost, remaining teeth naturally shift toward these convenient openings. Eventually, you’re left with new smile gaps and an uneven bite surface. When your bite surface is not straight, certain teeth are taxed with doing most of the chewing. Over time, this can lead to tooth wear, fractures, and cavities.
What Is Bone Loss?
If you lose a tooth, the valuable root no longer stimulates the jawbone. Without stimulation, the jawbone deteriorates, leaving you with a sunken or prematurely aged appearance around the lower face, especially in profile.
What Is Bruxism and TMJ
Tooth loss and the resulting tooth migration have been associated with bruxism and TMJ. Bruxism means you grind and clench your teeth during sleep, which can lead to severe complications like tooth loss, jaw and upper-body pain, and migraines. TMJ means inflammation or dysfunction of the joint that links your lower jaw to your lower face, a painful condition that makes chewing difficult.
Tooth Replacement Options, Including Dental Implants in Phoenix, AZ
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are the gold standard in tooth replacement because they address all tooth loss complications, including tooth migration.
Dental implants are the only option that restores your tooth root to restimulate your jawbone against deterioration.
A dental implant is an artificial tooth root surgically implanted in your jawbone. After several months, this new root integrates into the bone, saving it from loss and creating a stable base for a replacement tooth.
Options for dental implants include single implants and implant-retained restorations like dentures or bridges. It typically takes four to six replacement roots to fix a denture but perhaps only a single implant to secure a dental bridge.
Your dental implant requires no distinct maintenance other than brushing, flossing, and visiting your dentist twice yearly for checkups and teeth cleanings. They are natural-looking, long-lasting, and function like natural teeth.
What Is a Dental Bridge?
A dental bridge closes the gap in your smile by bridging the space with one or two replacement teeth. These teeth are then secured to the healthy adjacent teeth to the left and right of the smile gap, allowing the replacement teeth to fill the space.
For a dental bridge to work without an implant, it’s crucial that the supporting capped teeth are healthy enough to support the restoration.
For best results, a dental bridge requires a floss threader and specialty cleaning brush to keep plaque and debris away from the gumline.
Like dental implants, a dental bridge is a fixed restoration that can only be removed by your dentist. But unlike dental implants, a dental bridge does not guard against bone loss.
Taking Care of Your New Smile
Dental implants are famous for their longevity, and with proper care, they have been known to last a lifetime. Even if you have to replace the attached crown or restoration, your implant itself (artificial tooth root) is often still viable.
The dental bridge should be cleaned with a floss threader and specialized cleaning brush for best results.
Maintaining your new smile and restorations is about gum health—this is true even if you have full tooth loss and a prosthetic.
Contact Your Phoenix, AZ Area Dentist Today
To learn more about your tooth replacement options and what will work best for your smile goals, give us a call today. And don’t forget to ask a member of our team about financing options through CareCredit and GreenSky financing. We are also happy to work with flex spending programs and HSAs.
We proudly serve all areas, including Arcadia, Camelback East, Scottsdale, and your location.