Adults have a total of 32 permanent teeth, four of which are routinely removed in early adulthood, leaving the average adult with 28 teeth.
Different teeth provide different functions. The incisors (front four teeth) have a strong biting surface that is used to cut or shear food into small, manageable pieces. A single canine tooth (the cuspids) sits on either side of the incisors, having a sharp biting surface to grab and shred food. It is followed by two premolars (bicuspids) that are utilized to shred and smash food. The biggest teeth, known as molars, are found at the rear of the mouth and are used to chew, crush, and grind food.
Impact of Tooth Loss
Our teeth wear down as we age and may be lost due to accidents, disease, or decay. The average American has lost 12 permanent teeth by the age of 50.
This not only alters the look of a person’s smile but can also cause biting irregularities and weaken the jawbone.
There are several reasons to replace missing teeth:
- Missing teeth can cause neighboring teeth to move, resulting in unsightly gaps and irregular spacing. It may even change the structure of your face depending on how many teeth are removed and where they are positioned.
- Missing teeth can make it difficult to chew your food properly, which can lead to a variety of secondary difficulties such as increased choking risk and jaw misalignment disorders such as temporomandibular (TMJ) disorder.
- When a tooth is not replaced, it can lead to bone and soft tissue degradation, infection, and discomfort. Bone loss in the jaw can weaken adjoining teeth, spreading the condition even further.
Your Tooth-Replacement Options
The good news is that there are more natural-looking solutions for replacing lost teeth than ever before. These are some examples:
A dental implant is a surgical procedure that includes inserting an artificial tooth directly into your jawbone. Your dentist will carefully check the condition and size of your jawbone to verify that there is enough bone to effectively put the implant. During the surgery, a titanium screw will be inserted into the jawbone to act as a new tooth root and to hold a temporary crown in place. After the implant and jawbone have properly joined and bone has grown around the screw, a permanent crown will be put on top, functioning as the final replacement for the lost tooth.
A bridge is made up of numerous artificial teeth that are welded to a metal frame and act as replacements for missing teeth.
A bridge must be “anchored” at both ends, either with natural teeth or with implant posts. Those anchor teeth will need to be filed down to fit beneath the bridge. The bigger the bridge, the more natural teeth are needed to function as anchors.
When tooth wear, tear, and decay are so severe that it is quicker to acquire dentures than to save the natural teeth, a full or partial set of dentures can be used to replace them.
Dentures are often constructed of a strong resin substance that is pigmented to resemble real teeth. Conventional dentures are a whole set of artificial upper and lower teeth that are placed into your mouth after your teeth have been removed and your jaw has recovered from the tooth removal surgery.
Because dentures are maintained in place by suction and oral adhesives, activities like eating and speaking may take some experience.
Partial dentures may be utilized if a patient is missing only a few teeth. Partial dentures, for example, may consist of a plate with artificial teeth and clips that fit against the roof of the mouth.
There are several alternatives available to give you that beautiful smile, whether you have lost one or many teeth. Cosmetic dentistry has made incredible improvements in terms of materials and methods, and the results may be breathtaking.
The loss of your permanent teeth, on the other hand, is more than simply an aesthetic issue; it may have an impact on your general health.
If you have a missing tooth or teeth, do not put off seeing a dentist; otherwise, you will cause further issues. The professionals at The Dentist of Keller can replace lost teeth and restore your confidence with a beautiful smile. To arrange an appointment, call (817) 697-0177 or fill out an appointment request form online.