Missing teeth aren’t just something children experience — studies suggest more than 178 million adults in the U.S. are missing at least one tooth!
But what can lead to missing teeth? How can you prevent losing teeth? And what are some common ways to restore them? That’s what we’ll explore in today’s blog post. Let’s get started!
What can cause missing teeth?
Gum disease is surprisingly common for U.S. adults — nearly 50% of adults age 30 and older have it! It forms when bacteria on your teeth begin to form and harden around or under the gums.
Although it is usually reversible if it’s caught early enough, later stages of gum disease may see the gum tissue begin to loosen and recede away from the teeth. When this happens, it’s common for the affected tooth/teeth to become loose and possibly require extraction.
A few common symptoms of gum disease include:
- Bad breath
- Red, swollen, or bleeding gums
- Gums that appear to be receding (making your teeth appear longer)
- Tooth sensitivity
- Loose teeth
If you are experiencing symptoms of gum disease, or if it’s been a while since you’ve visited a dentist for your 6-month exam, contact us today! Gum disease may sound scary, but it is largely preventable, and when caught quickly enough, reversible.
Cavities are small holes that form in our teeth as a result of tooth decay. Bacteria can form and then harden on the teeth, over time weakening the hard outer layer of the tooth, called the enamel. This exposes the tooth’s softer, weaker inner layers.
If left untreated, the cavities that form can lead to a severe tooth infection and may require extraction.
It can happen to any of us — a tooth gets knocked out by a simple trip and fall, an unexpected sports injury, or a car crash. Knowing what to do when you knock out a tooth may allow you to save the tooth, but in some cases, it just isn’t possible.
Do you have a recently missing or damaged tooth that is causing you stress or anxiety? Call us at (786) 629-1503 to schedule an appointment with our team today! We’ll evaluate your teeth and recommend the best treatment option moving forward.
Hypodontia is a genetic condition in which some permanent teeth never develop or grow in. Research suggests anywhere from 1.6%-7% of people (depending on the population) have hypodontia.
Preventing missing teeth
- Getting regular 6-month dental cleanings and exams
- Brushing your teeth twice daily
- Flossing at least once every day
- Limiting intake of sugary and acidic foods and beverages
- Using a daily mouthwash
Is it bad to have missing teeth?
- Affects the way you eat and speak
- Can change the way you chew
- Increased risk of developing tooth decay or gum disease
- May cause your teeth to shift to try to fill the gap
- Can lead to bone loss in the jaw
But if you’re currently living with missing teeth, don’t panic! Our team has helped hundreds of patients restore their smiles, and have the experience and technology to help you restore yours, too. Let’s take a look at some of the common treatments for missing teeth at Sedation Dentistry of Sunny Isles.
Common restorations for missing teeth
Preventing missing teeth in the first place is your best option when it comes to avoiding problems associated with missing teeth. The second-best option? Restoring your missing teeth!
Here at our Sunny Isles office, we’re big fans of dental implants. Why? Because they look and function just like natural teeth! There are many upsides to dental implants, including:
- You care for them just like natural teeth
- When cared for properly, they should last for the rest of your life
- They restore speech function and allow you to eat your favorite foods
- They keep your teeth from shifting
- They prevent bone loss in the jaw
- They don’t require altering any other teeth
Not only that, but dental implants restore the natural look of your smile! Here’s a quick breakdown of how the dental implant procedure works at Sedation Dentistry of Sunny Isles:
- First, we’ll invite you into our Sunny Isles office for a consultation. Dr. Diane and Dr. Frank are All-on-4 certified dentists with years of experience under their belts. We’ll examine your teeth and discuss treatment options with you.
- Then, using our Cone Beam CT (CBCT) Scanner, we will precisely plan the placement of your implant.
- From there, we will precisely place the implant in your jaw.
- Finally, we’ll top the implant with a dental crown or bridge.
We understand the dental implant procedure may sound scary, but it doesn’t have to be! Our team is dedicated to your care and comfort. Ask us about our sedation dentistry options, and our in-office amenities like noise-canceling headphones, aromatherapy, and private exam rooms.
Similar to a dental implant, bridges are a great way to restore the look and feel of your smile. A dental bridge is a false tooth held in place by the adjacent teeth — bridging the gap left by a missing tooth.
Although they are a great alternative to removable dentures, and an effective way to prevent misaligned bite and other complications that stem from missing teeth, it’s important to note that they do not prevent bone loss in the jaw.
Dentures have been used for years and have developed a reputation for being uncomfortable and constantly sliding out of place. That’s not the case with the removable dentures you’ll find at Sedation Dentistry of Sunny Isles — our removable partial dentures are designed just for you and don’t require any messy adhesive to stay in place.
However, some downsides of dentures to consider include:
- They require daily maintenance
- They don’t prevent bone loss in the jaw, which can lead to a “sunken” look in the jaw over time as it loses density