• Why Replacing Missing Teeth is About More Than Just a Pretty Smile

    on Feb 27th, 2018

When you think of people who have decayed or missing teeth, you may conjure up images of senior adults. Not so. The reality is that most adults between the ages of 20 and 64 have at least three decayed or missing teeth.

The statistics on missing teeth are even more compelling, if that’s possible. According to the American College of Prosthodontists, 120 million Americans are missing at least one tooth, and a staggering 36 million Americans don’t have any teeth at all.

Fortunately, the advances in treatment options for replacing missing teeth have grown over the years to provide viable choices for patients of all ages. Dentures are no longer the only treatment option. Dental bridges -- and especially dental implants -- are becoming more and more popular.

Replacing missing teeth has obvious aesthetic advantages, but there’s more to the story than just recapturing an attractive, youthful smile. Dr. Kuo shares the inside story on the benefits of replacing missing teeth.

Restores the shape of your face

The roots in your teeth act as a stabilizer, giving your teeth a firm foundation so that they can function properly. But your tooth roots also act as a stimulator, keeping the jawbone sturdy and healthy, and presenting a natural shape to your face.

When you lose teeth and don’t replace them, a series of changes happen over time that affect your jawbone and face. Once the tooth roots are gone, the bone begins to deteriorate in that area of the jawbone. As the bone melts away, your face takes on a sunken, aged look due to the missing bone structure.

Dental implants provide an artificial tooth root system that recreates that important relationship between strong bone and the natural shape of your face.

Prevents drifting and shifting

Missing teeth not only create problems in the gap where the tooth once was, but also with the healthy neighboring teeth that shift and drift out of place to compensate for the newly-created space. This shifting may make it more difficult to properly brush your teeth, opening you up to increased risk for tooth decay and gum disease.

Getting an implant as soon as you lose a tooth is wise, because it fills the gap before any shifts in your other teeth can occur.

Helps you eat and chew properly

A healthy set of teeth -- 28-32 teeth depending on whether you have your four wisdom teeth or not -- working at peak performance enables you to properly chew that steak dinner so that your body can digest it. If you’re missing teeth, the alignment of your jaw changes. This can dramatically change the mechanics of your eating and chewing functions.

Without replacing your missing teeth, you can say goodbye to some of your favorite foods, unless they’re all soft foods. Filling the empty spaces gives you the ability to chew normally so you can enjoy eating.

Helps you speak clearly

We form words through the positioning of our lips, tongue, and teeth when we speak. If you take teeth out of the equation, your speech will be slurred, or you may develop a lisp when trying to say certain words. Replacing teeth helps fill the proper spaces in your mouth so you continue to speak clearly.

As you can see, replacing missing teeth does so much more than restore your smile. It’s all about creating a positive quality of life that everyone deserves.

Dr. Gregory D. Kuo helps patients in the greater Seattle area replace their missing teeth through a variety of treatment options, including dental implants and dental bridges. If you’d like to explore the best option for you, call the office in Redmond, Washington, or click here on the website to book a consultation.

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Gregory Kuo, DDS, MS
15446 Bel-Red Road, Ste. 110
Redmond, WA 98052
Phone: 425-296-9783
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