February 1, 2016
There aren’t health problems that are more worrying than the loss of a tooth. Just a single one falling out due to gum disease, decay, or trauma can keep you up at night worrying about your appearance, your ability to eat, and the future of your dental health. We’ve had the same worries here at our Belleville office – losing teeth can be terrifying!
The worst part about tooth loss is that it often signals the beginning of a slow slide into the loss of more and more teeth. We call this the domino effect because of the one after another nature of this kind of tooth loss. luckily enough it can be prevented at the office of Dr. Thomas J. Feder, DDS.
Why Does The Domino Effect Happen?
The bone that supports your teeth is incredibly thin, and the loss of a single tooth causes your body to reabsorb the bone that once held it. That bone loss affects the teeth that are next to the lost one as well. They will begin to loosen and shift the more the bone loss is left untreated, and before long you’ll end up with tooth after tooth falling out!
Your teeth need each other to stay stable and strong, so that initial lost tooth and the bone loss that comes with it leads into your teeth wanting to move towards each other to close the empty socket. Over time the bone loss allows them to drift, which simply causes more and more problems for the rest of you mouth.
The teeth across from each other in your mouth are largely positioned based on the way your teeth bite together. If that bite starts to change (due to shifting teeth, for example) then those opposite teeth try to adjust to make up for it. While this sounds like it could be beneficial in theory it’s actually a seriously dangerous prospect that can cause loosening and bone damage to even more teeth!
As those first two teeth slide toward each other to fill the gap they’ll continue to loosen, and likely never find support again. The teeth next to them will start to move a bit as well, and the whole process will continue on and on. Those first two teeth will eventually loosen enough to fall out completely, causing the whole process to start over again with each successive tooth.
Left unchecked you’ll end up with a completely toothless mouth.
How We Can Stop The Domino Effect
It might seem like stopping that continual flow of tooth loss would be impossible, but it is completely doable with one of two restoration methods: a bridge or a dental implant. We vastly prefer the dental implant for several reasons.
Bridges are a completely false tooth connected to two crowns. Those crowns fit over the teeth next to the one you lost, holding them in place and preventing their shifting. This is what you want, but it isn’t a permanent solution. Bone loss continues when wearing a bridge, and eventually you’ll be left with a bridge tooth that doesn’t even touch your gums. Replacing a bridge will be periodically necessary because of the wear and tear on the crowns, bone loss, and the shrinking of your gums.
As you can see, a bridge works but is hardly the ideal solution. You’re essentially putting a bandaid over the problem of a lost tooth, whereas a dental implant is the real deal: it completely replaces your lost tooth and all the roles it played in your mouth.
Dental Implants: Premier Tooth Replacement
An implant, unlike a bridge, actually starts by replacing the root of your tooth with a titanium screw. The implant screw is the same size as a natural root, and once healed is strongly bound with the bone. The osseointegrating quality of titanium is the reason it’s used in most bone-related surgery. Any potential bone loss and tooth shifting problems are completely eliminated by using dental implants!
We finish your implant treatment by restoring it with an incredibly lifelike crown. The crowns we use are made from high-grade ceramic and will blend perfectly with your natural teeth. You’ll probably even forget where it is!
Don’t Let Your Teeth Be Lost: We Can Help!
Our Belleville dental team is standing by ready to help preserve your smile. Whether you’ve lost one tooth or more don’t let the process continue: dental implants are the answer to your needs!