Missing Teeth Services in Fort Collins, CO
Spaces left by missing teeth can affect your appearance, your ability to chew, the position and health of remaining teeth, and the shape of the jaw bone where the tooth (or teeth) are missing.
There are many reasons for removing a tooth. Sometimes it’s due to extensive decay, or new decay around an existing crown or large filling. Sometimes a trauma causes a tooth to break in a way that prevents repair. Teeth that have had extensive or complex repairs also have higher risk of fracturing in ways that cannot be repaired. Large fillings, fillings along the gumline, and treatment with root canal-post-crown, can all weaken a tooth and put it at risk for a fracture that requires extraction.
Depending on which teeth are missing, your appearance or ability to chew may not be affected. However, there are also less-noticeable effects caused by missing teeth. These include teeth drifting or tipping into the empty space and loss of bone in the area where the tooth was removed.
Teeth drift into open spaces. Missing teeth can allow the remaining teeth to tip or hyper-erupt into spaces. This can cause problems with the bite, the gums around the teeth, and make the tooth more susceptible to decay. It also makes replacing the missing tooth much more difficult because of the limited space available. Even if the missing tooth itself doesn’t affect your appearance or ability to chew, a missing tooth can also have severe adverse effects on the teeth that are still present.
The presence of teeth in bone stimulates the body to keep the bone in that area strong. When a tooth is removed, the body has no signal to maintain the bone in that area and the bone volume and density may decrease. A dental implant also causes the body to keep bone dense and strong around the implant. When teeth are missing, bone is resorbed by the body. This can cause boney defects that weaken the jaw over time and-or make it more difficult to place a dental implant in that site. Loss of bone can also limit the design, retention, and comfort of dentures. In the upper jaw, the floor of the sinus can drop into areas where teeth are missing, making dental implant placement more complex and expensive.
If you have missing teeth that make you self-conscious when you smile or frustrated trying to chew food, give us a call and we can schedule an evaluation to discuss treatment options. Even if your missing teeth do not seem to be causing problems, save yourself some worry and schedule an evaluation with Dr. Gray to make sure the teeth you have are not being adversely affected by the empty space.