Tooth loss is an increasingly common dental concern for patients. In fact, as many as 120 million Americans are missing at least one tooth. Missing teeth can have many potential causes and each patient will have their own concerns. But what’s the deal with missing teeth? Is it something to worry about? And what can be done about it?
We’re here to offer you a comprehensive guide to missing teeth, the causes and effects, and effective treatment options in Portland, Oregon.
Common causes of missing teeth
The most frequent reasons people end up with one or more missing teeth include tooth decay and gum disease. However, there are other causes and not all missing teeth are the result of poor dental hygiene.
Injury or trauma to the mouth or face can lead to missing teeth, and some people simply never grow all of their teeth – this condition is caused by genetic factors and is referred to as congenitally missing teeth. Certain medical conditions can also lead to tooth decay, gum disease, and missing teeth.
Wisdom teeth, second premolars/bicuspids, and upper lateral incisors are the most commonly missing teeth.
Risks associated with having missing teeth
If you’re one of the millions of Americans who have one or more teeth missing, it’s important to come in and see us as soon as possible. The longer you wait to treat a missing tooth, the greater your chances of developing gum disease and other oral and overall health problems.
Here are a few of the risks associated with having missing teeth for a long period of time without seeking treatment:
- Bone loss
- Increased chance of losing more teeth
- Greater risk of health problems associated with gum disease, which may include heart disease, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s
- Decreased ability to chew foods properly leading to poor digestion or nutritional deficits
- Moving, shifting, or crooked teeth
- Bite problems
Treatments for missing teeth in Portland, Oregon
There are several effective treatments for missing teeth. The first step is visiting a dentist you trust to evaluate your mouth and assess your tooth loss. Of course, as with any type of healthcare, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. The ideal treatment will depend on the number of teeth missing, how the teeth were lost, whether there are any additional oral health problems as a result, and the patient's individual needs and preferences.
Dental implants are an excellent treatment option for a missing tooth as they offer long-lasting, natural looking, and highly functioning results. They’re made from strong, biocompatible materials such as titanium and are secured to the gum line much like a natural root. This not only makes it look and function like a real tooth, but it also helps to maintain your jaw bone, preventing further bone loss.
For those missing only one tooth, Advanced Dentistry can provide you with a custom crown that looks just like your real teeth. If you’re missing several, we also offer the All-on-4 dental implant system to improve your oral health and give you the beautiful smile you’ve always wanted.
If you’re struggling with missing teeth and have developed bone loss and other dental issues as a result, you can restore the beauty and health of your smile with full or partial dentures.
Dentures function as a replacement for missing teeth, and provide support to your face and lips; that’s why, if you’re dealing with the effects of bone loss and/or gum disease, dentures can provide much-needed structural support.
Unlike implants and other common restorative treatments, dentures are designed to be removable. You can take them out and place them back into your mouth when you need to. But when you work with our skilled prosthodontists and lab technicians, your custom dentures will look exactly the same as natural teeth.
A dental bridge is a versatile treatment option for people with missing teeth. A high-quality bridge can restore your missing teeth and give you a healthier, more beautiful smile.
While implants are secured into the jawbone itself, dental bridges are supported structurally by your neighboring healthy teeth. During your procedure, the supporting teeth are covered with a crown that works to hold the custom dental bridge in place. In situations where multiple teeth are missing, sometimes a dental bridge can be secured to implants as well, and will function in much the same way.
Small, comfortable, and lightweight, a well-made custom dental bridge doesn’t impact your ability to chew, talk, or live your life as normal. It’s a durable, long-lasting option designed to look, feel, and function just like your natural teeth.
Have missing teeth? Get high-quality, personalized treatments with Advanced Dentistry.
Our incredible team at Advanced Dentistry is here to offer you compassionate, comprehensive dental care no matter your concern. With extensive training and experience working with patients from all over the country, we can help you achieve a healthy and attractive smile. Whether you’re missing teeth, are dealing with pain or sensitivity, or are just looking for reliable, first-rate dental healthcare, we’re here to help!