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Facing the Reality that Comes with Lost Teeth

Posted on 2/28/2017 by Boeckel
A man suffering from a missing  tooth.
If you've found yourself with a few missing teeth, you're probably wondering what to do about it. Perhaps you've started researching options - bridges, partial dentures, dental implants.

You might not be sure which one is right for you, or maybe the cost of replacing your missing teeth is putting you off. The easiest solution might appear to be doing nothing. But if you do nothing, you are going to be facing some serious consequences.

Clearly the most obvious consequence of missing teeth is your altered appearance. Suddenly you find yourself with a gap-toothed grin. Missing teeth can make you appear older. It also may cause you to become self-conscious, and you suddenly find yourself hiding your smile. And over time, your face begins to change as well.

Bone Loss

Your teeth are rooted in your jawbone. When you chew, you stimulate the bone, and it sends a message to your body to send nutrients to keep it strong. When you lose your teeth, the bone in that area is no longer stimulated, so your body sends less nutrients. Eventually, your bone begins to deteriorate. As it does, your face begins to change shape, giving you an aged appearance.

Effects on Surrounding Teeth

As your bone deteriorates and your jaw changes shape, it has effects on your surrounding teeth. Your weakening bone causes your healthy teeth to shift position, right and start to move into the spaces left by the teeth you lost. This throws off your bite and leads to uneven wear on your teeth.

What Can You Do?
There are a few options that can help you deal with tooth loss, and give you back your life:

•  Dental bridge. A bridge works for small gaps, placing false teeth between two crowns which are anchored to surrounding healthy teeth. Since they are above the gums, they cannot stop tooth loss, but they can help hold your healthy teeth in place.
•  Dentures. Partial dentures are another option for replacing larger gaps of missing teeth in the same area. They are held in place by metal clasps. Like bridges, they are above the gums, and therefore don't prevent bone loss.
•  Implants. Implants are the best solution for replacing missing teeth. Titanium rods are implanted into your jawbone and hold false teeth. The rods imitate the root of a tooth and can slow, even stop, bone loss. If you have suffered significant bone loss prior to implants, a bone graft may be required first.

Don't ignore a few missing teeth. Contact our office to set up an appointment to discuss your options.

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Lisa Gitelson, DMD
14300 SW Pacific Hwy
Tigard, OR 97224
(503) 985-8945
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14300 SW Pacific Hwy, Tigard, OR 97224



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Lisa Gitelson, DMD, 14300 SW Pacific Hwy, Tigard, OR, 97224-3790 - Associated Words: dentist Tigard OR, Family Dentistry Tigard OR, Preventative Dentistry Tigard OR, (503) 985-8945,, 3/22/2019