Do you find our website to be helpful?
Yes   No

How a Missing Tooth Impacts Your Health

Have you lost a tooth to decay, disease, or trauma? Maybe you bit down on a cherry stone, or were playing sports, or perhaps you ignored a cavity a little too long. Whatever the reason, you're now missing a tooth, and the problem seems to be spreading.

At Fairfax Family Dentist in Fairfax, Virginia, Dr. Padmaja Yalamanchili sees patients every month who have lost one or more teeth and are seeking a dentist in the Northern Virginia area for help. Many of them thought their missing tooth was originally a minor issue, but then the teeth next to the gap started to shift. 

What happens when you lose a tooth 

The roots of your teeth are embedded in the jawbone and stimulate your bone as you chew, talk, and bite. Bone is living tissue, and when you lose a tooth, the jawbone it was embedded in loses stimulation. Without stimulation, the bone slowly starts to dissolve at the point where the tooth used to be.  

Your teeth are formed into arches in the upper and lower jaws. These arches are like bridges, each tooth supporting and supported by the teeth on either side. When you lose a tooth, the integrity of the arch is lost, and teeth begin to migrate towards the gap.

The combination of teeth shifting and bone loss means the teeth adjacent to the gap get loose, and fall out, and then the ones next to those. Eventually, just from the loss of a single tooth, you can become completely edentulous (toothless.) 

Filling the gap with a dental implant

While a bridge can be placed to span the gap between teeth and keep adjacent teeth from drifting, it won't stop the bone loss, which will spread and cause more teeth to be compromised. However, there is a solution. 

The perfect tooth replacement is a dental implant, which is a titanium post that can be implanted into the bone where your original tooth's root used to be and then covered with your gums. The bone is stimulated, and grows around the new "root" in a process called osseointegration. 

Once the post is firmly in place, Fairfax Family Dentist can open the gum to place an abutment,  which is a connector that supports your new crown. The crown can be made from a strong porcelain material that looks and feels just like your original tooth. 

Even if you are missing several teeth, a single post can support more than one restoration. In fact, a whole arch of teeth could be replaced with just four dental implants forming implant supported dentures!

Are you are missing one or more teeth? Don't let the progression continue. Call our office at 703-213-5312, or use our convenient scheduling tool to book your appointment online today. 

You Might Also Enjoy...

Act Fast To Save Your Knocked Out Tooth

Ever wonder what to do if a tooth is knocked out of your mouth while you’re playing sports or another activity? Here’s everything you need to know to help preserve a knocked out tooth and save a smile.

What You Need to Know About Nitrous Oxide

Are you or your child stressing out over an upcoming dental visit? Find out how nitrous oxide can help you overcome your fears and achieve the best dental health possible with the help of a qualified dental care team.

Should I Get Veneers or Dental Bonding?

Is your smile not quite perfect? A stained front tooth, a chip or crack, or an uneven gumline can make you hesitate to flash your teeth in a grin or a laugh. Fortunately, you have multiple options for smile repair.

5 Reasons You Should Consider Veneers

Did you make a New Year's resolution this year to improve your smile or shore up your dental health? Veneers might be the solution for you! Read more to learn some of the reasons you might consider getting veneers on some or all of your teeth.

Know the Warning Signs of Gum Disease

Have you noticed a loose tooth or blood in the sink after brushing or flossing? These are signs of gum disease. It’s good to know the warning signs of gum disease and how to properly battle them.