Filling the Gap and Why You Need to Do It

dental implantsSome people think only those living in the backwoods of West Virginia are missing a bunch of their teeth. Truth be told, none other than the esteemed American Dental Association says that 178 million Americans are missing at least one tooth. And, wait for it, 35 million Americans are missing all of their teeth. You read that right. The ADA also expects those numbers to grow as the country ages.

Holy Deliverance 2 casting call! Holy Hee Haw reunion show! Who knew so many people were missing their teeth?

If you’re one of those statistics, you may be thinking you’d just as soon save a few dollars and NOT have that missing tooth replaced. After all, you lost in when your Uncle Frank got a little overzealous in the Turkey Bowl last November. And what’s the big deal, it’s just a missing tooth, right?

Wrong. There are many reasons to replace your missing tooth with Dr. Miller, preferably with the gold standard of tooth replacement, a dental implant.

  1. Appearance — If you’re missing one of your front teeth, come on! Even professional hockey players get their teeth fixed! Last time we checked, Esquire isn’t looking for any models missing one of their front teeth.
  2. Eating ability — If you’re missing a front tooth, chewing and biting can be an issue. Plus, every time you do bite into something you’re putting more pressure on the adjacent front teeth to carry the load. If you’re missing a molar chewing can be a problem. This can lead to you not eating certain foods, which can lead to gaps in your nutrition.
  3. Movement — Your teeth that live next to your missing tooth now no longer have any pressure from the tooth next to them to stay in place. Without that pressure the adjacent teeth like to slide over into the gap (think crowded bleacher when one person leaves to go to the concession stand). That makes for some lovely alignment issues, which can create bite issues, which can lead to TMJ disorders.
  4. Jawbone ‘b Gone — If you’re missing a tooth or a couple of teeth you’re also placing a bet on your jawbone, and it’s a losing bet. You see, the teeth take the enormous force generated when biting and chewing and they transfer that energy directly down through the teeth into the jawbone they are anchored in. That energy signals the jawbone to keep producing new bone cells, shedding old ones. That’s what you call regeneration, and that’s what keeps your jawbone healthy and full-sized. When there isn’t any stimulation coming down through that missing tooth, the jawbone beneath it begins to deteriorate. Over time, that deterioration, particularly if you’re missing a couple teeth in one spot, can become dramatic and that area of your face can begin to collapse inward. Don’t believe it? Check out the face of a person missing lots of teeth.
  5. Implants are like teeth, only with a little titanium — A dental implant with its titanium base accepted and integrated into the jawbone behaves exactly like a natural tooth. You can eat whatever you want. Caring for them is no different than your regular teeth. And now you don’t look like you should be playing a banjo on a porch in North Georgia.

Isn’t it time to replace that missing tooth, or to do something about that tooth with the serious decay? Call Dr. Miller at 503-640-9310. He’s an expert in prosthodontics (that’s a fancy word for knowing his way around a dental implant), and he can take care of you.

Posted in: Dental Implants

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