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3 Myths About Missing Teeth

Harvey Dental Group
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BY Harvey Dental Group

Many people have missing teeth, but that doesn't mean you should have to accept your missing teeth. Before you head out to talk to your dentist, however, you should familiarize yourself with some common myths about missing teeth and tooth-replacement options. To learn more, keep reading.

1. Myth: Your Only Option to Replace Missing Teeth Is Dentures

Dentures are common for many Americans, but they aren't the only way to replace missing teeth. They are the fastest and most affordable way to replace teeth, but that doesn't mean they are the best option.

The main problem with dentures is that they sit on top of the gums. Your saliva helps hold the gums in place like a suction cup. If the dentures are too big or too small, however, they may not be able to grip well. Similarly, if you have a dry mouth, the dentures may not stick to the gums. This can lead to many complications, such as difficulty eating and speaking.

There are multiple other options to consider for missing teeth. Dental bridges are a great option to replace one or two missing teeth. They are more durable than dentures because they use anchor crowns to connect to anchor teeth.

Dental implants are another option, but they are expensive at $3000 to $6000 for one implant. These are the most durable option because they directly use the jawbone for support like real teeth. Dental implants come in single implants, implant-supported bridges, and implant-supported dentures.

2. Myth: Some Tooth-Replacement Options Ruin Healthy Teeth

In some cases, tooth-replacement options rely on healthy teeth for support and stability, but they don't ruin the teeth. With partial dentures, wire hooks may be used to secure the dentures to other teeth. Without proper denture care or oral care, you could scratch the enamel, but ultimately, the teeth help better secure the denture, so it doesn't move around.

Similarly, dental bridges use teeth for anchors, so those teeth need to be adjusted. The enamel is removed, but this doesn't destroy the tooth. Once the bridge is placed, the anchor crowns protect the tooth better than enamel. Bacteria can't break through the crown, so you only have to worry about your gumline.

3. Myth: Missing Teeth Cause Little to No Complications

If you have a missing tooth or missing teeth, you may believe you know all the complications. Missing front teeth can make it hard to talk, and missing back teeth allows food to get stuck easily. Plus, when you chew on foods like chips, you could poke your gums, leading to irritation and bleeding. However, there are many other complications that can arise from missing teeth.

First, all that extra irritation to that portion of your gums can increase the risk of gum disease. Plus, more gum surface area means more room for bacteria to attack, especially if food gets stuck in the gap. Gum disease alone can increase your risk of losing more teeth in the future.

Another problem with missing teeth is that it can allow the jawbone to atrophy. This is more of a concern if you have multiple missing teeth or you want a dental implant. A dental implant will prevent bone atrophy, but only a strong jawbone can support an implant, so a bone graft may be needed.

Finally, if you have even one missing tooth, your entire smile can be affected. Your teeth will naturally move to fill in that gap. This can cause your teeth to become crooked, but it will also affect your bite. Your teeth may no longer fit together when closed, leading to pain and abnormal wear and tear.

Don't let your smile change because of one missing tooth. There are multiple options to replace missing teeth, and they can prevent future complications too.

If you would like to know more, contact us at Dr. M. Dawn Harvey, DMD, PC, today.

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