SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – A missing tooth might make you hesitant to smile or speak normally in public. Aesthetically speaking, your smile won’t shine it’s brightest with empty spaces from missing teeth. But missing a tooth doesn’t only wreak havoc on your self-esteem; it can also seriously destabilize your bite.
Reasons You Might Have Missing Teeth
The American Dental Association reports that the average American adult has at least three decayed or lost teeth. There are many reasons why you may have lost a permanent tooth. You could have sustained a blow to the head or mouth that knocked your tooth out instantly. We encourage patients who play sports to wear protective mouth guards to thwart these types of accidents. Another common reason for tooth loss is dental decay. A severely decayed tooth may be past the point of repair, resulting in the need for an extraction. Your best chance of thwarting tooth decay is to brush and floss regularly and visit our office for routine maintenance visits. Gum disease can weaken your gums and cause your teeth to loosen and fall out. Again, this generally can be avoided with good oral hygiene and a partnership with your dentist. Some people may have missing teeth because of congenital disorders, radiation, or teeth were removed for orthodontic treatment.
How Missing Teeth Affect You
Missing teeth affect you in certain obvious ways. You may be inclined to hide your smile in social situations. A missing tooth can make you look older, and it can also change your facial features. You may notice your cheeks sink in, causing a sagging appearance.
Missing teeth can add undesirable stress to your other teeth, jaw and facial muscles. Your other teeth may start to shift out of their desirable positions. This can do serious harm to your bite. You may notice a sore jaw due to the lack of harmony in your bite. You may have trouble speaking or eating with missing teeth as well.
The Institute for Dental Implant Awareness discusses another important result of lost or extracted teeth – bone resorption. Your missing tooth’s root used to reside in the jawbone. After a tooth is gone, the bone that supported the tooth is no longer needed, and it starts deteriorating. Replacing a missing tooth with a dental implant is the best way to combat bone resorption.
Once in place, your bone can form a bond with your dental implant, preventing it from weakening.
Dr. Larson restores missing teeth with dental implants in San Francisco. During the dental implant procedure, your implant surgeon will plant a small titanium post into your bone where your tooth used to reside. The post provides necessary support to your replacement tooth. Dr. Larson will then place a precision crown on top of the titanium support. Our office offers pain-free dentistry with sedation options to help you stay comfortable during your procedure.
Your dentist may also give you the option of a bridge to replace your missing tooth. Bridges can be permanent or removable. Bridges connect to your natural teeth and secure a replacement tooth in the empty space. Crowns and bridges are made from non-toxic materials such as porcelain or resin. They match the natural color of your teeth and provide support for your bite. Your dentist may suggest dentures if you’ve lost most or all of your teeth.
You may benefit from Invisalign treatment if your teeth have shifted because of a missing tooth. Invisalign gradually shifts your teeth into place with clear plastic aligners. Contact our practice for more information on Invisalign. You can also have teeth whitening in San Francisco to brighten up your newly restored smile.
We know losing a tooth is difficult, and we want to restore your smile and your confidence. Contact us today to discuss the best options for your case.
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