Tooth loss is something that anyone can face at any time. In fact, 26% of all Americans over the age of 65 have either lost one full arch or have lost all of their teeth. Whether you were injured during a sporting event or your tooth decay was so severe that you lost a tooth from it, tooth loss can have some very bad consequences. Traditionally, older people suffer from tooth loss, but it doesn't mean they have to. If the condition of your teeth begin to worsen, there are plenty of dental options available for you to prevent tooth loss. Unfortunately, the more teeth you begin to lose, the harder it is to correct. In the past, a missing tooth could only be fixed with a bridge or dentures, but now dental implants allow you to get a complete smile without the worries. Here are some consequences you could endure with tooth loss untreated.
Loss of Bone
Every time your tooth comes into contact with something, it spurs the bone underneath to constantly rebuild itself. This bone is known as the alveolar bone. After one year of tooth loss, the bone width decreases by 25%. As you continue to lose bone over the years, you will start to notice facial differences. The amount of space from your nose to your chin will decrease and causes your face to look sunken in. The loss of your jaw bone will also increase making it more susceptible to injuries including fractures.
Problems with Alternatives
While bridges and dentures are often used to help replace the missing tooth, there are some major disadvantages to using these. Both partial dentures and bridges require other teeth in order to set up correctly. When they rely on other teeth, they can often damage them in the process. As a bridge is installed, the adjacent teeth beside it are required to be capped and filed in order to support the bridge properly. This makes the healthy tooth more susceptible to tooth decay and cavities. Partial dentures also rely on adjacent healthy teeth in order to be supported. Unfortunately, this can cause the healthy teeth to become loose.
Should you decide to apply full dentures in place of dental implants, the dentures will rub down the bone that once supported your natural teeth. This can increase more bone loss and cause aesthetic appearances in the face. While bridges and dentures serve as viable options for those who have suffered from tooth loss, they only work short-term. In the long run, dental implants can offer much more value for the money. One dental implant can range from $1500 to $7500 so you want to be sure that you are making the right choice.