You may not realise it as often as you should, but you rely on your teeth for far more than you may at first imagine. Teeth play a multi-functional role in the mouth. We depend on the humble tooth for masticatory function (the ability to bite and chew), to pronounce certain sounds for clearer speech, to give us a great looking smile (provided they are straight and bright) and to boost our confidence, as well as to protect jawbone quality.
Seen in the light of all the above functions, it is clear that the loss of even a single tooth can present a few challenges. Just imagine then, what the cost would be if you lost more than one?
An Australian dental health study found that one in six adults had quite a few missing teeth – more than ten. The problem being that adequate nutrition started to suffer, better foods tending to need more chewing, a challenge as they experienced eating difficulties.
As strong as teeth are, they are still susceptible to disease, damage and being knocked out of their sockets (in the event of facial trauma). This is why children and adults are encouraged to keep on top of their dental health with daily hygiene obligations and routine professional dental check-ups if they wish to keep their natural teeth for life.
But tooth loss does happen, and when it does, it is imperative that patients take appropriate action like looking at missing teeth replacement options such as dental implants Melbourne. A tooth implant can be the perfect fix for those who pass the patient candidate criteria, as they benefit from a treatment option that looks and feels just like natural teeth do.
Dental consequences associated with missing teeth
Problems with neighbouring teeth
One of the oft-forgotten benefits of having all your teeth is that each tooth acts as an anchor for its neighbour. In this way teeth ‘lean’ on each other for support. This support is lost when one tooth falls away and teeth can then begin to drift out of position, causing crooked teeth issues.
Change in facial appearance
Teeth help to give shape to the face. When teeth are lost, especially if quite a few are lost, this can gradually change the structure of the face. This can happen when jawbone deterioration occurs, as the jawbone loses the stimulation provided by tooth roots. As bone is reabsorbed, the face structure appears emaciated.
Misaligned bite problems
Changes in teeth positioning is a common cause of bite problems. For proper bite function, teeth need to come together in natural alignment. When they drift into unnatural positions, this can affect the ability to bite and chew properly.
Don’t jeopardise the health and function of your mouth or smile. If a tooth has been lost, an implant dentist can perform a tooth replacement implant procedure that can give you same day teeth (provided certain criteria are met). Find out more in a consultation with a dentist experienced in implant dentistry.
Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.