What happens if I lose a tooth?
You or a loved one may lose a permanent tooth (not including wisdom teeth) at some point. Losing just one tooth can set off a cascade of events in your mouth. The first thing people tend to notice is the physical appearance of missing a tooth. Within the first month of losing that tooth, you will lose 25% of the bone in that area! This is why a lot of dentists will consider placing a dental implant or place a bone graft to prevent further bone loss. Even with just a bone graft, after six months the bone will continue to be lost slowly over time if an implant is not placed. This is also why when people lose lots of teeth, their face appears sunken in.
In addition, if the tooth is not replaced, the surrounding teeth have a tendency to migrate into that space, usually shifting forward. The upper teeth can grow down, and the lower teeth will usually grow upwards. This movement can disrupt your whole bite. When you chew you can put up to 500lbs of force on your molars. So when a molar is lost, these forces are then transmitted to the other teeth. As more and more teeth are lost, this puts too much of the force on the other teeth putting your existing teeth at greater risk for fracture and trauma.
Dental Implants and Bridges in Doylestown PA
The good news is there are great ways to replace missing teeth. In most cases, the best option is a dental implant. However, some teeth are best replaced with dental bridges. Please schedule an appointment if you would like to learn more about which option is best for you.