Missing Teeth: How to Keep Your Smile

artificial missing teethAlthough missing teeth are usually associated with growing older, anyone, at any age, can experience tooth loss, also known as edentulism. Tooth loss can significantly impact more than just your smile. Many people experiencing edentulism also report emotional or psychological distress as a result of discomfort in personal and social situations, where they feel a smile is important. Fortunately, in modern dentistry, there are several well-known ways to prevent missing teeth, as well as excellent long-term treatments available to restore your healthy smile.

Prevention

In some cases, losing a tooth is inevitable. Children lose their primary teeth to make way for permanent, adult teeth. Also, many people may experience some type of injury resulting in missing teeth. In most cases, however, inadequate oral hygiene, bad habits, and lack of knowledge are the leading causes of tooth loss. Following these simple steps may help you avoid losing permanent teeth:

  • Brush and floss twice daily to prevent the development and progression of tooth decay and gum disease, which increases the risk of tooth loss.
  • Scrutinize your habits. Smoking and using other tobacco products can lead to early tooth loss.
  • Manage your dietary intake. Excess carbohydrates and sugars in your diet may lead to severe tooth and gum damage.

Treatment

The most common and favorable treatment for missing teeth is dental implants. Dental implants can replace one tooth or several. The implant is comprised of three separate structures and is a multi-step process. First, a root-like device, made of biocompatible titanium, is inserted into your dental ridge. Then, the bone will bond with the titanium, supporting the implant that supports your replacement tooth/teeth. After some healing time (usually 4-6 months), an abutment and dental prosthetic (i.e., crown, bridge, or denture) will be fitted and placed to complete your new smile. Dental implants look natural, are long-lasting, and maintain an impressively high success rate.

ABOUT YOUR KATY COSMETIC DENTIST:

Dr. Colin Lathrop and the Lathrop Dental Center proudly serve patients and families from in and around Katy, Fulshear, Weston Lakes, Simonton, Richmond, Rosenberg, Brookshire, Wallis, Orchard, and all surrounding communities. If you’d like to schedule a dental appointment, you can reach our office in Katy, TX, by calling (832) 437-3849.