You may not fully appreciate what your teeth do for you until you lose them. Missing teeth can do more harm than a gap in your smile and trouble chewing. They can create serious and long term oral health problems. Dr. Karl A. Rose is one of the most experienced implant dentist in Washington, DC and he can help you replace and even reverse the effects of your missing teeth.
You may think once you've stopped growing that your teeth and bones are pretty much set where they are. Unfortunately, that's not the case and losing a tooth can start a chain of events that can be disastrous to your entire mouth.
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Misalignment of remaining teeth - You body, and especially your mouth, relies on a delicate balance of forces to function well. Each tooth helps maintain that balance. When you lose a tooth, it creates a void in your mouth that your body wants to fill. As a result, the adjacent teeth to the one that was lost, and even the opposing tooth, begin to move into the gap. In the process they can rotate and tip, leaving your teeth seriously out of alignment. This can then cause serious jaw pain, leave the gums around your remaining teeth more vulnerable to infection, and cause your teeth to wear unnaturally fast.
Loss of bone mass - When the bone of your jaw is no longer stimulated by teeth that have been lost, the body stops maintaining it. Even with a single missing tooth, the jaw bone will begin to atrophy. It can abate so much that it fails to support nearby teeth. The long term result is a domino effect where one tooth after another loses bone support and falls out.
A missing tooth can cause us to change the way we act without even knowing it. Our brains tend to compensate for injury or loss by overusing other parts of our body. Without even knowing it you may begin compensating for a missing tooth by chewing on the opposite side of your mouth. This can cause jaw pain and abnormal wear on your other teeth. It can reduce the variety and change the texture of the foods you are willing to eat. If you are self conscious about a missing tooth in your smile or crooked teeth, you may begin to cover your mouth when you speak. You might change the way you smile or even stop smiling altogether. This can happen without you realizing it, and it can begin to affect all aspects of your life.
The good news is that we can easily replace missing teeth and prevent and even reverse the damage it has caused. The most advanced and most effective way to replace missing teeth is dental implants. This is an artificial root-like structure that anchors firmly to the jawbone and acts as a base for a single missing tooth, a bridge, or a full arch restoration. Dental implants look and function just like your own natural teeth, and they require no special effort to maintain them. Best of all, a skillfully placed and well cared-for implant will often last a lifetime.
If you are missing one or more teeth or worried that you may lose them, contact us to schedule an appointment with Washington DC implant dentist Dr. Rose for a consultation. He is one of the foremost implant dentists in the Washington, DC area and he's always happy to meet new patients. Periodontal & Implant Associates of Greater Washington is conveniently located in Chevy Chase, MD not far from the Friendship Heights Metro station.