The Pitfalls of Letting a Lost Tooth Go Untreated

Dental implants are on the rise as more and more dental patients discover that a well-placed dental implant not only looks but also performs like an actual tooth. Not many people know that letting a lost tooth go untreated can lead to costly problems down the road. Bellflower Oral Facial Surgery & Dental Implant Center would like to take a moment to go over some of the reasons it’s a good idea to treat a lost tooth with a dental implant.

A Missing Tooth is More than Just a Bad Look

When a person loses a tooth, the first thought is going to be that their appearance is compromised. A patient is inconvenienced and also likely shocked at the way their smile looks with a space caused by a missing tooth. If a person loses a front tooth (like an incisor), they will likely get a dental implant — either right away or some point in the future. But when a person loses a back tooth (like a molar), they are more likely to let the missing tooth go untreated. Since the missing tooth does not pose any problems to the aesthetic value of their smile, it’s pretty much out of sight, out of mind.

The way you look certainly affects the way you feel. In our beauty-crazed society, it’s important to put our best foot forward, and a missing tooth can certainly interfere with a person’s confidence. Certain psychological and social consequences of a single tooth loss can be profound. But what if we told you that there’s something less noticeable going on in the area of a lost tooth. Damage is being done that can compromise functionality, health, and facial structure. Unseen problems start to occur when a missing tooth goes untreated that can cause costly problems down the road.

Tooth Loss is Bad to the Bone

It all comes down to the jaw bone, which needs stimulation on a daily basis to maintain its structure and density. The alveolar bone (characterized by its sac-like quality) that surrounds and supports teeth gets this necessary stimulation from the teeth themselves. Your teeth make hundreds if not thousands of brief, fleeting contacts, pushing up against each other over the course of the day. Each tooth sits snugly in a socket, and these small stresses transmit through the periodontal ligament (“peri” – around; “odont” – tooth). This process prompts the bone to remodel and rebuild over and over again.

Tooth loss causes a lack of stimulation, which in turn causes loss of alveolar bone. Tooth loss results in degenerating external width, height, and ultimately volume. For example, there is a 25% decrease in width of bone after tooth loss, just over the course of the first year!

That’s why it’s important to call Bellflower Oral Facial Surgery & Dental Implant Center. The primary goal of the team is to restore normal functionality, comfort, appearance, speech, oral health and overall health to our patients from all walks of life. An estimated 200 million people in the U.S. live with one or more missing teeth. As our population ages and grows, more and more people are affected by tooth loss. We have several procedures including dental implants that will look and function like normal teeth, giving stimulation to promote surrounding bone health. We also specialize in bone grafting procedures for those who suffer from jaw bone loss and deterioration.

Our dental implants are composed of similar components of natural teeth, functioning the same way once replacing a lost tooth. After a short amount of time allotted for bone growth, a titanium support post (abutment) attached to the implant creates a strong bond and foundation for the artificial tooth. Titanium is highly biocompatible — it’s the same exact material surgeons use for artificial joints. We finish the procedure by capping the abutment with a crown that looks and behaves like the rest of the teeth.

Contact Bellflower Oral Facial Surgery & Dental Implant Center to learn more about our various dental services that can help restore your winning smile. Schedule your initial consultation today.