Teeth are lost because of trauma or disease. Trauma may come in the form of an accident or excessive biting forces. Disease is generally tooth decay or periodontal disease [gum disease] but there are other categories such as cancer and various
Dental Implants Dover NJ neoplasm’s of the jaw that may result in tooth loss. Studies show that more than 50% of the population have one or more missing teeth. Trauma commonly causes the loss of a single front tooth. The effect this has on a persons’ well being is obvious. Fortunately an experienced dental implantologist can usually remove the remaining root, place a dental implant, and secure a new tooth to that implant in one visit of an hour or two. The loss of a single tooth in the back is usually caused by tooth decay or periodontal disease. Sometimes this can be treated just like front teeth but for various reasons it is often more time consuming.
More often than not the treatment for a single missing back tooth is as follows:
Extraction of the damaged tooth and grafting of the root sockets. Wait 4 months then
Placement of a dental implant to replace the root of the single missing tooth. Wait 4 to 6 months then
Placement of an abutment on the dental implant and record taking for the fabrication of a crown to replace the single missing tooth. Wait 3 weeks then
Permanent attachment of the abutment to the implant and cementation of the crown to the abutment. TREATMENT COMPLETE
The need for replacing a single missing tooth in the back is often times not as intuitively obvious as the need for replacing a single missing tooth in the front; but it is important. Teeth are very movable. We’ve all witnessed an Orthodontist putting tension on a tooth with a small rubber band and moving it where ever he wants. Each tooth in the mouth has a position and a purpose. When there is a single missing tooth the body’s natural reaction is to drift adjacent teeth into the void that is created. Over time a single missing tooth may actually cause a change in the position of every other tooth in the mouth. Malocclusion may then develop contributing to TMJ [tempromandibular joint] dysfunction, headaches, muscle spasms in the neck and shoulders, food impaction between teeth, tooth decay, periodontal disease, and other problems. Because these problems don’t always develop and because they may occur years after the single tooth is lost, people often times don’t associate the loss of their tooth to the problems it caused. It is a shame that a single missing tooth is frequently ignored in light of the possible consequences but the development of dental implants for the replacement of a single missing tooth is encouraging many more people to seek early treatment.
Multiple missing teeth usually follows a single missing tooth. Each time a tooth is lost and not replaced it accelerates the process of losing more teeth. As multiple teeth are lost all of the problems associated with a single missing tooth are exaggerated. But there are additional concerns as well. Those would include but not be limited to:
Collapse of vertical dimension- As multiple back teeth are lost the mouth loses their support when we close causing the chin to get closer to the nose. This has the effect of deep folds at the corner of the mouth and thinning of the lips. It can easily age a persons’ appearance by 10 to 20 years.
Collapse of facial structure-As multiple back teeth are lost facial support of the cheeks is lost causing a sunken in look. Once again the result is premature aging.
Bone loss- The bones of our upper and lower jaws have only one natural purpose; the support of our tooth roots. When the roots are lost the bone begins to melt away much as a muscle does that is not used. This results in further lose of facial support and can make the wearing of artificial prosthetics such as dentures impossible. It can also make the placement of dental implants more challenging.
Inability to chew foods properly-The mouth is the first in a series of organs designed to assimilate and digest foods. The more thoroughly we can chew the food the better the whole system works. Mom wasn’t wrong when she admonished all of us to chew our food more slowly and thoroughly.
Inability to eat a healthy diet-As more and more teeth are lost it becomes increasingly difficult to eat a balanced diet. Important staples such as raw vegetables and nuts become impossible to eat and we lose out