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Replacing Your Teeth Soon Can Stop Drifters

tooth-colored_fillings_2 __Sunrise Dental | Chapel Hill | Durham | Raleigh | Cary, NC
A lost tooth is not something you should laugh off or ignore. A single missing tooth can become two or three, and that can lead to even more lost teeth. If you have already lost a tooth, then the team at Sunrise Dental doesn’t want you to lose any more. We want to help you find a tooth replacement solution that will work for you. Between dental crowns and bridges and dental implants, we have a combination of ways to bring back your smile and to replace the function of your lost tooth. Drifting Away Isaac Newton is credited with making several discoveries that have improved the world in countless ways. His laws of motion are an example of this. His third law of motions is simple, “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” Whether you realize it or not, this is at play daily inside your mouth. From day to day, you don’t notice changes in the position of your teeth. (If you did, we hope that you would call one of our dentists to get help.) The pressures we apply to our teeth while biting and chewing can cause our teeth to press into one another. Since our teeth are close together, they press into each other, too. While we have all our teeth, the effects of these forces are generally balanced, and our teeth appear to remain in the same places. Think for a moment about what could happen if you removed any tooth from your mouth. You may have two teeth — one on each side of the missing tooth — that have now lost a part of their mutual support system. When something pushes those teeth in the direction of the missing tooth, there is no longer anything to push back. Over time, you may start to notice those teeth “drifting” into the empty space. The result is your bite can change. You may start to find it more difficult to eat certain foods, and your smile can become distorted. As those teeth drift further away from their original locations, the teeth next to them can be affected, too. Bone Matters The roots of your teeth and your jawbone are hidden by your gums. Those roots act as anchors that hold your teeth in place, and they are anchored to your jawbones. Your teeth also help your jaw stay healthy. The pressures from chewing and biting affect your jaw in a way that encourages new bone tissue growth. This keeps the jaw strong. If you remove one tooth, that part of your jaw is not getting the stimulation that leads to new tissue growth. As a result, your jaw may begin to lose bone mass, which weakens that part of the jawbone. As that bone loss spreads (and adjacent teeth drift toward the weakest part of your jaw), more of your teeth can become loose or fall out. If there is good news, it’s that this process takes time. If you have a lost tooth, we would encourage you to replace it as soon as you are able. At the same time, it’s not as if you will lose two teeth tomorrow because you lost one today. What You Can Do? The first thing you can do is take preventive steps. Brushing, flossing, and visiting Sunrise Dental for routine cleanings can prevent many of the problems that cause tooth loss. Examinations can identify problems early so you can treat them before tooth loss occurs. If you know that a tooth will be removed, you can plan to have it replaced in coordination with the extraction. Removing a tooth and replacing it with a dental implant and dental crown can minimize the effects of losing a tooth. The implant-crown combination gives you a replacement for your missing root and adds provides support for your neighboring teeth. If you have already lost more than one tooth, you can still take steps to prevent further losses with an implant-supported bridge. Dental bridges are made by fusing dental crowns together to fill the gaps in your smile. One or more dental implants can be used to support and secure that bridge in place. For patients who have lost all their teeth, implant-supported dentures will do more than traditional dentures. The implants add strength and stability to your dentures. This is good for your jawbone, and it allows your dentures to function much more like real teeth. That means you can eat more of the foods that you want to eat. It’s Up To You Whether you are trying to prevent tooth loss or you are in need of teeth replacements, Sunrise Dental wants to help. You can contact us online to make an appointment or by phone. Call the dentist office closest to you. We have locations in Durham, Raleigh, Cary, and Chapel Hill.