If you’ve lost a tooth in the front of your mouth, you’ll obviously want to replace it as soon as possible to improve your smile. But what if the missing tooth isn’t visible? Why should you bother replacing it? As you continue reading, you’ll learn about the dental health risks associated with a missing molar. Additionally, you’ll discover the most effective option for replacing it to get you back on track!
The Importance of Your Molars
All of your teeth have important functions. The molars (the last three teeth on each side of your mouth) have the job of sustaining great amounts of force from chewing, grinding and the meeting of the upper and lower teeth. They are integral in helping you eat and digest foods with a tougher texture, which is why they are larger than the other teeth.
Specific Problems Associated with a Missing Molar
The following issues can arise from the prolonged absence of a molar:
- Faster Wear – Having even one tooth missing can cause load shifting when you chew food. The surrounding teeth that have to endure the extra chewing responsibility can start to erode faster. Additionally, this can cause pressure to be shifted to the front teeth, which are not built for chewing.
- Teeth Misalignment – Over time, the unnatural space created from a missing tooth can encourage the surrounding teeth to shift. This can further contribute to misalignment or crookedness. This can lead to difficulties performing dental hygiene and leave you more susceptible to infection.
- Bone Resorption – The longer a tooth is missing from its socket, the greater the potential of bone loss around the area. Furthermore, the missing stimulation of chewing in the area can cause the underlying bone to shrink and weaken. Additionally, bone resorption can cause the mouth to shift and sag, making you appear older.
- TMJ Disorder – Located on either side of the face, the TMJ (temporomandibular joints) act to open, close and rotate the jaw. Prolonged tooth loss that results in bite shifting can cause swelling and inflammation of the TMJ.
Thankfully, these problems can be addressed with the placement of dental implants in Oklahoma City.
Dental Implantation to Avoid Problems
By having a dental implant placed, the above issues can be prevented. The titanium post, which is surgically inserted beneath the gum line, works to restore the security and stability provided by the natural tooth and its roots. Additionally, dental implants help prevent bone deterioration, shifting and other issues that are typically associated with prolonged tooth loss.
Before committing to dental implants, you’ll need to schedule a visit with a dentist in Oklahoma City. This will allow for an assessment of your dental health and your jawbone density. It will also give you a chance to ask any questions you may have about the procedure. A complete smile is a healthy smile, so it’s a good idea to fill in any gaps you may have, even if you’re the only person who is aware of them.
About the Author
Dr. Colin Holman earned his dental degree from the University of Oklahoma College of Dentistry. So he can continue providing care at the highest level, he takes continuing education courses and stays abreast of the latest technology and scientific information available. Dr. Holman expertly replaces missing teeth with dental implants at Dental Expressions. He can be reached for more information or to schedule a visit through his website.