There are several different dental health problems that can lead to tooth loss. Dental implants are an excellent option for replacing missing teeth from a number of causes. Here are four causes of missing teeth that can be treated with dental implants.
Congenitally Missing Teeth
In some cases, permanent teeth are missing because they never emerged in the first place. Congenitally missing teeth is the term used to describe gaps that occur when a baby tooth falls out, but a permanent tooth never formed below it.
Congenitally missing teeth are often caused by hereditary factors. Hypodontia and oligodontia are two conditions that are inheritable and lead to congenitally missing teeth. Oligodontia is the classification for six or more missing teeth, while hypodontia often leads to one or two missing teeth.
Congenitally missing teeth are particularly harmful for the long-term development of the gums and jawbone. These tissues and bones rely on the teeth for stimulation and support, so the absence of teeth will lead to accelerated deterioration that could potentially cause the loss of surrounding teeth. Dental implants resolve this problem because they directly bond to the jawbone through the process of osseointegration, providing the stimulation that the gums and jawbone need to remain healthy for years to come.
Like other bones in the body, teeth are vulnerable to fractures from forceful impacts. Cracked and broken teeth will decay at an accelerated rate because the pulp of the tooth is exposed to bacteria inside the mouth. Whether you have lost a tooth due to decay that resulted from trauma or an impact caused a tooth to immediately dislodge from your gums, dental implants can provide a solution.
When a tooth is lost from trauma, an oral surgeon will often have to clean chips and particles out of the dental socket before placing the implant. While it is sometimes possible to place an intact tooth back in the socket, teeth immediately begin to die when they have left the mouth. Dental implants have a much higher success rate than replacing a dislodged tooth, and they are also more resistant to fracturing than natural teeth.
Gum recession from periodontal disease is one of the most common causes of missing teeth. In patients with periodontal disease, plaque and tartar buildup will attack gum tissues around the roots of the teeth and erode them away over a number of years. These tissues are extremely important for holding them in place. As the gums recede, it is likely that several teeth will be lost in the area where gum recession is most severe. While dentures are commonly used to replace multiple missing teeth, they do not solve the problem of continuing gum recession.
Implant-supported bridges are an alternative for replacing multiple teeth that are superior to dentures in a number of ways. Implant-supported bridges are anchored in place on each end by titanium implants to create a permanent and natural-looking solution. Unlike dentures, which do not interact with the receding gum tissue, implant-supported bridges stimulate the gums to slow the rate at which they continue to recede. This can help to prevent additional tooth loss in the future.
Jawbone deterioration is a process that happens naturally with age. Like gum recession, jawbone deterioration can rob teeth of the support they need to stay firmly planted in the dental sockets. Depending on the level of deterioration, bone grafting is often used in conjunction with dental implant installation to provide a permanent solution for missing teeth.
Dental implants are an excellent tooth replacement option for virtually any cause of missing teeth. No matter how you have lost teeth, talk with a professional from an office like Gordon Dental to learn more about how dental implants can restore your smile.