Generations Dental Care Blog

Can You Wait to Replace Lost Teeth with Dental Implants?

July 23, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — generations @ 2:15 am

Man with a missing lower front toothLosing a tooth is more than an aesthetic problem. Every tooth is important for your oral and general health. However, tooth replacement treatments can be expensive, especially if you’re interested in dental implants. Don’t wait too long to replace your lost tooth, or it can end up costing you more down the road. Here’s why you shouldn’t delay investing in a dental implant.

How a Dental Implant Works

A dental implant is unlike any other treatment because it replaces both the root and the crown; whereas traditional methods only recreate the portion above the gum line, like bridges and dentures. A titanium post is surgically placed into your jaw to mimic a root. An abutment is attached to the post to connect a customized restoration that will match the color, size, and shape of your remaining teeth. 

Missing Teeth Cause Bone Loss

Losing even a single tooth can have detrimental consequences for your oral health. Your jawbone shrinks slowly when you lose a tooth because it isn’t being stimulated by the root. You can lose up to 25% of your jaw’s density within the first year of missing a tooth. It will continue to deteriorate as more time passes. 

Risks of Waiting to Replace Teeth

Bone loss can complicate the process of getting dental implants. Here are a few risks of waiting too long to replace a tooth:

  • Poor Dental Health: As you lose bone, your remaining teeth won’t have sufficient support. They can drift from position, making your teeth more difficult to clean. You’ll have an increased risk of cavities, gum disease, and additional tooth loss. Replacing your tooth promptly with a dental implant can stop your teeth from shifting.
  • Changes to Facial Appearance: Bone loss will change the shape of your face over time, causing you to look years older. You can develop wrinkles and sagging skin. A dental implant is the only solution to stop bone loss. The post will stimulate your bone to strengthen your jaw to maintain a youthful appearance.
  • Additional Tooth Loss: A weak jawbone increases your risk of tooth loss. Instead of needing to replace a single tooth, you may need multiple teeth replaced if you delay treatment.
  • Additional Procedures: You must have healthy teeth and gums to be a candidate for dental implants. You must also have adequate bone density in your jaw. If the complications of tooth loss occur, you’ll require additional procedures, like gum disease therapy or bone grafting, before getting dental implants.
  • Increased Cost: Additional treatments will add to the expense of getting dental implants. 
  • Longer Treatment Plan: It can take several months to replace missing teeth with dental implants. If you end up needing additional procedures, it will add even more time to your treatment plan.

It’s best to replace a missing tooth as soon as possible. You’ll reduce your overall oral health expenses and safeguard your remaining teeth.

About Dr. Christopher Binder

Dr. Binder achieved his dental degree from the Tufts University School of Dental Medicine and has regularly continued his education in advanced services. He is affiliated with many professional organizations, including the American Dental Association. Dr. Binder has been named one of the Top Dentists in NH by NH Magazine. If you’re ready to replace your lost teeth, request an appointment through our website or call (603) 212-1914.

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