Gum disease, which affects over 70% of adults in America, is also the number one cause of adult tooth loss. Luckily, gum disease is highly preventable and manageable, so if you’re intent on preserving your natural teeth, then you have a good chance. However, gum disease isn’t the only manner in which you can lose a tooth, and some ways (such as accidental trauma) aren’t as easily preventable. If you’ve lost a tooth, either to dental disease, trauma, or a necessary extraction, then your Austin dentist, Dr. Steven Van Wicklen, can help you restore your smile’s beauty and function by expertly replacing the tooth.
To Replace, or Not to Replace, a Lost Tooth
If your lost tooth is in the front of your smile, then you may have already replaced it, or are in the process of doing so. When you lose a tooth in the back of your mouth, or if you simply don’t care about having a gapped smile, then you may not be as compelled to restore it. In truth, not replacing a lost tooth should never be an option. The alignment of healthy teeth helps displace the pressure of your bite, and when you lose one, your remaining teeth can shift to fill the hole in their ranks. Your bite can become further imbalanced, placing tremendous stress on your jaw’s joints and contributing to TMJ disorder. As certain teeth take the brunt of your bite’s force, they can wear down, crack, or fracture from the pressure, and eventually you might require more extensive dental work than a simple tooth replacement.
Do it Right the First Time
Shifting teeth and imbalanced bite aren’t the only side-effects of tooth loss. Your jawbone, the foundation of your smile, supports and sustains your teeth by their roots. In an equally-beneficial relationship, the presence of healthy tooth roots, which are stimulated by biting and chewing, helps keep your jawbone healthy by telling your body how many teeth it needs to support. A lost tooth root results in lost stimulation and a diminished nutrient supply, and malnutrition can cause your jawbone to deteriorate in time. To address lost tooth roots, Dr. Van Wicklen may suggest securing your fabricated dental crown to a dental implant—a titanium prosthetic root that’s surgically inserted into your jawbone. An implant eliminates the need for a connective apparatus, like the outer crowns on a dental bridge that attach to existing teeth, and offers a more lifelike tooth replacement in both look and function. By restoring lost roots, dental implants can also help prevent further tooth loss by preserving your jawbone’s nutrient supply.
Learn More About Replacing Lost Teeth with Your Austin Dentist
To learn more about how to preserve your smile after you’ve lost a tooth, schedule an appointment with your Austin dentist by calling 512-448-3131. Located in the 78704 area, we proudly serve the cities of Austin, Round Rock, Pflugerville, Bastrop, Bee Cave, Cedar Park, and all surrounding communities.