Tooth loss in a crocodile is no problem; crocodiles can grow replacement teeth up to 50 times. Adult humans with tooth loss don’t have that luxury. If you lose a tooth, you will not grow another. Luckily, you have dental alternatives for a lost tooth. The best way to treat tooth loss is to prevent tooth loss, of course. But if you do lose a tooth, follow the steps below for the best results.
What Causes Tooth Loss?
The causes of tooth loss are many, but the most common cause is poor oral health. Australian adults aged 15 years and over had an average of 4.4 teeth missing due to dental decay and periodontal disease in 2018.
Periodontal disease, or gum disease, is common worldwide. Gum disease that causes tooth loss is common. Bacteria works its way under the gum tissue, settles in, and causes an infection. If not treated early, the infection begins to destroy the gum tissue and the jaw bone. The tissue and jaw bone help hold teeth in place, so with this support structure weakened, teeth will loosen and eventually fall out.
A cavity is a tiny hole in the tooth. If caught early, your dentist can treat cavities quickly and easily. But if left untreated, bacteria can enter the tooth through the cavity. The bacteria can destroy the tooth from the inside out, requiring either a root canal or resulting in a lost tooth.
Injury or Trauma
Even with pristine oral health, you might lose a tooth due to injury from an accident or other trauma. For example, you could have tooth loss after a fall, as a result of a car accident, or because of a sports injury. Though you can’t entirely avoid accidents, you can take preventive measures when possible, such as wearing a mouthguard when you play sports.
Whole-Body Health Concerns
There is a strong correlation between the overall health of our bodies and our oral health. So there are many whole-body health concerns connected to dental health, including the following factors and diseases that cause tooth loss and that can increase the risk of tooth loss:
- Poor diet
What Are the Options for Replacing Missing Teeth
Whatever the cause of the tooth loss, you have options for replacing a missing tooth or teeth.
A dental implant is a standard treatment for tooth loss. An implant is a long-term investment, generally lasting for years. In this procedure, a titanium root is installed into your jaw bone as the base for a replacement tooth. This is the best option but also the most expensive.
A partial denture is a cost-effective and non-invasive option to replace missing teeth due to tooth loss but is the least comfortable. Dentures are an alternative to implants if your gums and jaw bone are too weak to support a dental implant. Dentures consist of a plastic or metal frame that houses a replacement tooth and clasps around the surrounding teeth.
A dental bridge is permanently attached to the teeth surrounding the missing tooth. Bridges can be effective prosthetics if the gap between your teeth is narrow. Bridges have two parts: the replacement tooth and the abutment, which attaches to surrounding teeth.
Work with your dentist on preventing tooth loss, of course, and if you’ve already lost a tooth, then your dentist can help you find the best solution for replacing that missing tooth. Our team at The Dental Family Beaumaris can assist you with emergency dental and all of your general dental needs.