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How Quickly Should I Replace a Missing Tooth?

How Quickly Should I Replace a Missing Tooth?

More than 120 million people in the United States are missing at least one tooth, so that’s a lot of folks faced with the decision of whether to replace a missing tooth and, if so, how quickly.

If you’re in that group, the team at Silicon Valley Dental Associates in Sunnyvale, California, wants you to know that you absolutely should replace missing teeth and that you should do it as quickly as possible. Here’s why: 

Increased infection risk

One of the most common causes of tooth loss is gum disease. And losing a tooth increases your risk of further gum disease and bacterial infection.

Food particles can gather in the empty socket, inviting bacteria and causing plaque to form. The empty socket also exposes the roots and sides of the adjacent teeth to bacteria.

The more bacteria that gather, the more likely they are to enter your bloodstream and cause health risks in other parts of your body. For example, gum disease has been linked to heart disease.

Shifting teeth

A lost tooth isn’t the only one affected. Your teeth all put pressure on adjacent teeth; if a tooth goes missing, the pressure doesn’t stop. But without support from the tooth that had been there, the adjacent teeth begin to shift into the empty space.

Shifting teeth can affect the alignment of your teeth and your bite.

Jawbone deterioration

The roots of your teeth are in the jawbone, stimulating the bone to keep growing. If you lose a tooth, your jawbone loses this stimulation. Over time, that causes the bone to wear away in that spot, changing the structure of your face.

Replacing missing teeth

One of the best ways to replace missing teeth is with a dental implant, and you might be able to have one installed soon after your tooth loss. We implant a titanium post into your jawbone and top it with a crown that matches the look of your natural teeth.

It takes a few months for your implant to heal and integrate into your jawbone, so we can give you a temporary crown until the permanent crown can be installed.

Once complete, a dental implant gives you a healthy, natural-looking smile while lowering your risk of infection, keeping your other teeth in place, and stimulating jawbone growth.

If you need to replace a missing tooth or take advantage of one of our many other dental care servicescall our Sunnyvale office or book your appointment online today.

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