Whether you think your missing tooth is embarrassing or cool, there’s more to consider than just your looks. Missing teeth can cause serious problems in your mouth and affect your overall health.
At OK Tooth in Midtown Manhattan, New York, we commonly see patients who’ve lost teeth in an accident or because of disease and decay. Whatever the cause, we hear a wide variety of reactions — from those who think it gives them a unique signature look to those who can’t bear to open their mouth because they hate their gappy smile.
It’s important to know that a missing tooth is a serious issue, no matter how you look at it. Our team of dental experts specializes in replacing missing teeth with dental implants, because that gap can do more damage than you might imagine.
Reasons your missing tooth is a big deal
A lost tooth affects your whole mouth, here’s how.
Alters your alignment
Like the kernels of corn on a cob, your teeth should line up in a neat row. When one goes missing, the others tend to slide into the vacancy, causing a chain reaction of shifting teeth.
As they change position, they become visibly crooked and change the way your upper and lower teeth meet. This misalignment is a common cause of cracked and broken teeth.
Changes the way you chew
Each of your teeth serves a different function, such as tearing or grinding. With the help of your tongue and saliva, chewing is the first step in the digestive process. If you’re missing a tooth, you may not chew your food adequately, which leads to digestive problems such as acid reflux.
Another problem that often occurs when there’s a missing tooth is that you tend to favor one side or the other when you chew, which can lead to jaw pain and temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ).
Deteriorates your bone
Your teeth are anchored into your jawbone, and they enjoy a symbiotic relationship: Your jaw keeps your tooth in place, and your tooth root applies the pressure that stimulates healthy bone growth. No tooth means no pressure, which means your jawbone deteriorates.
Reasons implants are the gold standard for missing teeth
You have options when it comes to resolving gaps left by missing teeth, including dental bridges and dentures. But there are a few compelling reasons we recommend dental implants if you’re a good candidate.
Resolves your chewing issues
Dental implants anchor directly into your jawbone, acting as a root just like those on your natural teeth. Attached to the implant is a durable prosthetic tooth designed to perfectly fill the gap, there’s no shifting or slipping to worry about. The strength of dental implants allows your rip, tear, shred, and grind your food as you please.
Maintains proper alignment and aesthetics
Filling the gap helps you keep all your other teeth in a straight row, so you don’t have to deal with crooked teeth and misaligned bites. Dental implants are virtually impossible to discern from your natural teeth. Unlike dentures and bridges, dental implants don’t move, make no sound, and match your other teeth perfectly.
Restores your bone health
The titanium post that secures your dental implant to your jawbone fuses with your bone. This means that every time you chew, your dental implant applies that needed pressure to your jaw, promoting healthy cell renewal.
Lasts a lifetime
Dental implants are not removable, and there’s no need for special care. As long as you take care of your new dental implants by brushing and flossing regularly and coming in for twice-yearly dental cleanings, they should last the rest of your life.
Replaces one or several teeth
Dental implants are the most stable, durable tooth replacement solution whether you’ve lost just one tooth, several teeth, or all of your teeth. Our team can restore any and all of your missing teeth with implants.
To find out more about dental implants and whether you're a good candidate for this superior tooth replacement solution, call us at 212-651-4121 or request an appointment with one of our specialists online today.