Did you know that 178 million Americans are missing at least one tooth? According to the American College of Prosthodontists (ACP), the likelihood of tooth loss increases as we age. The ACP says that 30 percent of adults aged 65 to 74 have no natural teeth.

Oral health problems like cavities, gum disease, and trauma contribute to tooth loss. And people with certain lifestyle habits, such as smoking or extreme sports activities, are more vulnerable to losing a tooth or more.

The problem is that replacing a missing tooth isn’t a health priority for most Americans, which is why the statistic for tooth loss remains high. But missing teeth have significant impacts on your health. They can affect your jaw functions and cause bite and chewing problems.

It’s important to address tooth loss before it causes bigger health issues. The easiest solution is to get tooth implants. Here are four warning signs that you need a dental implant urgently.

1. You can’t eat properly

Missing teeth, especially molars, make it difficult to chew, which can interfere with your diet. When you can’t chew properly, you might not get your daily nutrition intake since you can’t eat certain food items. This can result in malnutrition and other related health conditions.

Multiple studies have pointed out the link between malnutrition and tooth loss, especially for older adults.

If you’re missing tooth makes it hard to chew, getting dental implants will restore your jaw function almost immediately, allowing you to get the nutrition you need.

2. You have a broken or severely cracked tooth

If you haven’t lost a tooth yet but have one that’s severely cracked or broken, a tooth implant is one of your treatment options. It’s best to preserve your natural tooth as much as possible. So, your dentist will assess the damage first to see if a dental crown can save your tooth. But if your tooth’s broken beyond repair, you’ll need an extraction.

Generally, if your tooth is broken below the gum line or has a damaged pulp, your dentist will extract it. The area will need three to six months to heal before you can get a tooth implant.

It’s best to get an implant as soon as you can after the extraction. When you have a missing tooth, your remaining teeth will shift over time to fill the gap. This can lead to jaw problems. Getting a dental implant will keep your teeth from moving, preventing bite issues.

woman holding dentures

3. Wearing dentures isn’t suitable for you

Dentures are another treatment option for missing tooth. However, they’re not suitable for everyone. If you’re a professional athlete or model, for instance, wearing dentures may interfere with your line of work. Getting dental implants is the better option if your job demands that you have perfectly aligned, strong teeth.

If you have bruxism or a teeth-grinding condition, you can still get dental implants instead of dentures. You only need to wear a night guard to avoid damaging the crown on your implants.

4. You’re starting to experience bone loss in the jaw area

Your jawbone tissue can erode in the areas left open by missing teeth. Jawbone erosion can lead to various health problems, from tooth loss, loose teeth, and even gum disease. Also, severe jawbone tissue erosion decreases your chances for implants. Your jaw would be too weak to support the implant posts.

Getting an implant immediately after an extraction or losing your tooth can prevent jawbone erosion. It also helps you avoid mouth regression, which is the shrunken appearance commonly seen in the mouths of denture-wearers.

If you recently lost a tooth, consult a dentist immediately to know if dental implants are the best solution for you. Make sure you visit someone specializing in restorative dentistry. They’ll bring back your natural smile and prevent future oral health issues.

Restorative Dental Care in Arizona

Rod W. Gore, DDS offers cosmetic, general, and restorative dental care in Scottsdale, Arizona. We provide dental services for the whole family, taking care of the oral health of kids to older adults.

Call 480-585-6225 to schedule an appointment today. For inquiries about our dental services, fill out our online form.
Call 480-585-6225 to schedule an appointment today. For inquiries about our dental services, fill out our online form.