1 2 3


The Cost of NOT Replacing a Missing Tooth

How Not Replacing a Missing Tooth Can Impact Your Life
According to the American College of Prosthodontics, 178 million people in the United States are missing at least one tooth, and more than 35 million people don’t have any teeth, at all. Tooth loss occurs due to a number of issues, including wear, cancer, injury, and gum disease. However, regardless of the reason you may have a missing tooth, the impact on your life is often significant, but do you know the cost of not replacing a missing tooth?

 

In addition to the common concern about missing teeth making you appear older, there are other real issues and dangers present if you don’t replace missing teeth. Learning more about the longterm costs and risks of not replacing a missing tooth can help you understand why tooth replacement options are so important.

 

Bone Loss is One of the Risks of Not Replacing a Missing Tooth
One of the most significant dangers related to not replacing a missing tooth is bone loss, also known as bone resorption. Bone loss occurs after a tooth is gone because the natural roots of the tooth are no longer embedded into the jawbone, leaving a void. Over time, the jawbone will begin to deteriorate.

 

Unfortunately, bone resorption doesn’t only impact the one tooth that’s missing, it actually puts you at risk of losing neighboring teeth and will eventually impact your facial appearance. As time passes without replacing missing teeth, you may notice that your face shape will change gradually and your lips may appear asymmetrical and sunken.

 

To top all this off, a missing tooth (or teeth) can also increase the chance you will develop gum disease in the area where the tooth once existed or even suffer from tooth decay in neighboring teeth.

 

Reduced Ability to Speak Clearly and Eat Certain Foods
In addition to affecting your appearance, another serious risk of not replacing a missing tooth is the reduced ability to eat certain types of foods. Depending on which tooth or teeth are missing, it may become difficult to bite into and chew certain foods. In an attempt to avoid biting and chewing near the missing tooth, you’ll most likely begin overusing other teeth to compensate for the missing tooth or teeth.

Overall, this can eventually lead to diminished health and poor nutrition. For example, a common side effect of missing teeth can be digestive issues as you begin to eat softer foods or don’t fully chew foods before swallowing.
If certain teeth are missing, such as the ones in the front, it can also impact the way you speak and your ability to clearly pronounce certain words. You may develop a lisp or a change in how you pronounce certain words and sounds.

 

Reduced Self-Esteem

While the examples above are all tangible effects of a missing tooth, there are also a few intangible effects that a missing tooth can have. While you may not be able to see these effects on the outside, they are still present and can impact your life in significant ways.

 

If a space from the missing tooth can be seen when you smile, eat, or speak, you may start to avoid smiling, eating, and speaking to people in public. This can have a significant impact on your social life, your job, and as a result, the amount of money you are able to earn at your job. If gum disease develops due to the missing tooth, you may begin to experience bad breath, as well.
Depending on your age, career path, and relationship status, the lifetime costs of a missing tooth can really add up if you’re not confident to smile, eat, or speak in front of other people.

 

Options for Replacing a Missing Tooth
Now that you know many of the potential risks and costs of not replacing a missing tooth, you may want to know what replacement options are available. There are several options to consider, including dentures, dental bridges, and – the most popular and long-lasting – dental implants.

 

Dental implants are sturdy, durable, and compared to the other options, much longer lasting. In addition to offering all those benefits, dental implants can also help to preserve your jawbone because the titanium post used for the implant will actually fuse with the jawbone over time. This helps to continue stimulating growth and minimizes the potential for bone loss. Dental implants will also help restore your confidence since they look and feel like real teeth after the installation process is complete.

 

There is no question that dealing with a missing tooth can be a stressful situation. However, if you speak with your dentist, you will quickly discover there are many replacement options available to help fit your lifestyle and budget. Also, getting to know the risks of not replacing a missing tooth can help you see why you shouldn’t wait to have a new tooth placed. There is no reason to allow your oral health to suffer when you can easily restore your oral health, and your beautiful smile.

 

Call us today at 920-202-3502 if you would like to schedule a free no-obligation tooth replacement consultation.

Why Are Baby Teeth Important?

dfdc_babyteethBaby teeth are important in the development of your child’s speech and chewing habits. In addition, they help give the face its shape and hold space for the incoming adult teeth. It’s imperative to help your child take good care of their baby or primary teeth.

Preventing Decay in Baby Teeth

Decayed teeth can cause pain and discomfort to the child. Since tooth decay is caused by bacteria, cavities in baby teeth can affect the adult teeth that are erupting into the child’s mouth.

Decay can occur in baby teeth when a child frequently ingests liquids and foods containing large amounts of sugar.

Some tips to help protect your child’s teeth from cavities would include:

  • Do not let your baby or toddler fall asleep with a bottle containing milk or a sugary liquid.
  • If your baby needs comforting between regular feedings or at bedtime, give him/her a clean pacifier.
  • Do not put a pacifier in your mouth to clean it, before putting it in the child’s mouth. You may pass on decay-causing bacteria to the baby.
  • Do not allow children to frequently sip sugary liquids from bottles or training cups.

How Teeth Develop?

When babies are born, they already have 20 baby teeth (developing under their gums). The baby’s first teeth begin to appear around six months after birth. The upper and lower two front teeth are usually the first to appear.

Most children will have their full set of 20 baby teeth by the time they are three years old. As your child grows, their jaw also grows to make room for the adult teeth. By the age of five or six, the first adult teeth begin to erupt.

When teething, some babies may have sore or tender gums. To make your baby more comfortable, you can:

  • Gently rub their gums with a clean finger, a small cool spoon or a wet gauze pad
  • Give them a clean teething ring to chew on

Do not use gels or creams with local anesthetics (like benzocaine or lidocaine) to soothe sore gums in young children.

Holding Open Space for Permanent Teeth

Sometimes a baby tooth is lost before the adult (permanent) tooth beneath it is ready to erupt. If a baby tooth is lost too early, adjacent teeth can shift into the empty space. This results in a lack of space for proper eruption of the permanent tooth, and the new tooth may be unable to erupt, or may possibly erupt out of position.

If your child loses a tooth too early, the dentist may recommend a space maintainer, depending on the anticipated arrival time of the permanent tooth.

 

Keeping Your Child’s Teeth Healthy

Begin cleaning your baby’s mouth during the first few days after birth. After feedings, wipe the baby’s gums with a clean gauze pad or wet washcloth. This removes plaque and familiarizes the baby to having his/her mouth cleaned.

As soon as the first tooth appears, gently start brushing your baby’s teeth twice a day. Use a soft-bristled, child-sized toothbrush and a very small amount of toothpaste (size of a grain of rice).

Use a non-fluoridated toothpaste until your child is comfortable and good at expectorating the toothpaste after brushing.

To clean your child’s teeth and gums, you can sit with the child’s head in your lap. Be sure you can see into the child’s mouth easily.

Other American Dental Association recommendations include:

  • Help brush your child’s teeth until they are at least six years old. When they are old enough to brush on their own, watch them to make sure they are not rushing through the job and cleaning the different surfaces of their teeth.
  • Start using floss when your child has two teeth that touch each other. Floss Holders and tools are very helpful in assisting you floss your child’s teeth.
  • Feel free to bring your child with you to your hygiene appointment. Let them see that parents regularly take care of their teeth, and that a cleaning is a simple and easy procedure.
  • Plan a “Well-Baby Checkup” for your child. At this visit, the dentist will check for decay and other potential problems. We will discuss oral hygiene and proper nutrition. There would also be a discussion on supplemental fluoride, depending on the preferences of the parents.
  • Provide your child with a healthy diet including foods from the main food groups. If your child needs a between-meal snack, select healthy foods and snacks. Save the sweets and treats for special occasions and don’t allow them to have daily or constant junk food in their diet.
  • For more information, visit the American Dental Association or Academy of General Dentistry websites.

Invisalign

No more goop, gagging, or discomfort. Using an iTero ™ scanner your dentist can take a highly accurate digital impression. The new technology completely eliminates the tray and putty impressions where the experience is comparable to stuffing a big wad of gum in your mouth. The old technique is incredibly unpleasant and frequently results in taking multiple rounds of impressions that can be rejected, broken, or misplaced. The iTero scanner ensures a more accurate impression from the start, resulting in improved treatment and a more comfortable patient experience. Digital impressions give you the ability to see your teeth instantly in 3D, improving communication during the consultation and treatment process.slide1new

Orthodontic Treatments

lls_19Today’s metal braces are much smaller, flatter, and more comfortable than in the past. Patients of all ages choose metal braces to help them achieve straight, beautiful smiles.

What Braces are Made Of

Traditional metal braces are made of high quality stainless steel or titanium. The three main parts of your braces are:

Brackets — Brackets are attached to the teeth using special glue that bonds them to the tooth surface and holds them in place.

Archwire — The archwire is the thin metal wire that connects each bracket and puts pressure on the teeth to help guide them into place.

Ligature Elastic (also known as the “rubber bands”) — Elastics, or rubber bands, are the colored ties that hold the archwires to the brackets. Your orthodontist will change the elastics at each appointment. Elastics may come in a variety of colors.

iTero™ Digital Impression System

Conventional vs Digital Impressions

No more goop, gagging, or discomfort. Using an iTero ™ scanner your dentist can take a highly accurate digital impression. The new technology completely eliminates the tray and putty impressions where the experience is comparable to stuffing a big wad of gum in your mouth. The old technique is incredibly unpleasant and frequently results in taking multiple rounds of impressions that can be rejected, broken, or misplaced. The iTero scanner ensures a more accurate impression from the start, resulting in improved treatment and a more comfortable patient experience. Digital impressions give you the ability to see your teeth instantly in 3D, improving communication during the consultation and treatment process.
How Does it Work?

The iTero scanner digitally captures the structure of the teeth and gums using the latest optical technology. The scanner is a compact, hand-held wand. Once your dentist begins the scanning process, it can be stopped and started as many times as necessary.

Your mouth is scanned with a radiation-free laser and in as little as 2-3 minutes renders a digitally perfect, 3-D impression of your teeth and soft tissue structures. Through digital software you’ll then be able to follow the progress of the scans including a three-dimensional model of your teeth on our