In most cases, your teeth will last a lifetime if properly cared for. However, many people still experience tooth loss and need a permanent tooth replacement option for proper function and aesthetics. Dental implants are the preferred choice for those that want teeth that act, feel and look like your natural teeth. Dental implants have helped countless patients who suffer tooth loss from a variety of factors. There are some reasons for tooth loss that are out of our control, while others we can prevent with diligent oral hygiene efforts. Here is a look at the common reasons why people lose their teeth and may require dental implants:
Gum Disease: The most common reason for tooth loss is gum (periodontal) disease. This is essentially a localized infection in the gums and supporting structures of the teeth leading to loss of bone. At the advanced stages of gum disease, the infection progresses to the point that teeth become loose and fall out on their own. In other cases, the tooth becomes so damaged that it must be extracted.
Trauma: Obviously, this one is out of your control. Trauma or injury to the teeth can cause them to be knocked out instantly, or the damage may show up much later. Root fracture may not be apparent until months later when infection develops. In some cases, teeth are treated after trauma and many years later there is apparent root resorption, which occurs when the body turns against itself and causes cells to eat away at the root surface. Lastly, teeth may only crack or fracture in such a way that they must be removed all together. This can even happen as the result extreme stress on the teeth from a clenching and grinding habit or from mechanical reasons related to the lack of sufficient support from other teeth.
Tooth Decay: Dental caries that are left untreated will eventually lead to extensive infection in the in the bone around the ends of the roots, which will result in the need for tooth extraction to prevent further complications.
Congenital absence: Tooth loss could also be something you were born with. There are cases where people may have a primary tooth come in, but there is no permanent tooth to replace it. Typically, the baby tooth will remain in place and will function until it fails due to the loss of root support or other dental disease. At this point, it will need to be removed.
Regardless of what caused your tooth loss, the most important step now is to find a way to regain the optimal function and appearance you were meant to have. Dental implants can restore smiles from all types of tooth loss. Dr. Wayne Suway is a leader in implant dentistry, providing patients with a highly sophisticated and revolutionary way to talk, smile, laugh and chew after losing teeth.