Treating Tooth Loss Can Improve Your Oral Health and Quality of Life
If you have suffered tooth loss for any reason, Dr. Robert W. Hessberger and his team in Northwest Chicago, IL, offer various tooth replacement options to meet your needs. By replacing a missing tooth with a traditional or implant-supported restoration, you can experience improved dental function, better oral health, and boosted self-confidence.
Causes of Tooth Loss
It is estimated that about 120 million Americans are missing at least one tooth. There is a variety of reasons why you might suffer tooth loss at some point in your lifetime, such as:
- Gum disease
- Tooth decay
- Habits such as smoking
- A genetic condition called hypodontia, which is the developmental absence of one or more teeth
The best way to prevent tooth loss due to decay or other health issues is to visit a dentist every six months for your biannual preventative dental exam. During these exams, Dr. Hessberger can identify and treat oral health issues such as cavities or gum disease and help you keep your teeth for a lifetime.
If you unexpectedly lose a tooth, you have options. Our office can work with you to save your tooth or provide a natural-looking, high-quality replacement.
Consequences of Leaving Tooth Loss Untreated
After losing a tooth, it is important to meet with Dr. Hessberger as soon as possible. If you have suffered a knocked-out tooth, you should contact our office immediately while the tooth can still be saved. We offer emergency dental services and can arrange to see you as quickly as possible.
Leaving a missing tooth untreated can have many consequences, such as:
- Poor nutrition: Missing teeth can compromise your ability to eat many of the foods that are essential to a balanced diet.
- Speech problems: A missing tooth can affect how you pronounce certain words as well as make you feel self-conscious when speaking to others.
- Misalignment: When you lose a tooth, your surrounding teeth can shift out of place.
- Changes in your facial structure: When a tooth is lost, that area of the jawbone no longer receives stimulation when you chew. As a result, your jawbone begins to recede almost immediately after tooth loss. Jawbone recession can give you a sunken, aged appearance. It can also threaten the health of remaining teeth.
- Reduced self-confidence: If you have lost a tooth, you may find yourself covering your mouth when you laugh, speak, or smile for photographs.
After losing a tooth, your surrounding teeth are also subjected to more pressure than usual. This can cause them to become loose and result in other issues.
There are two methods of replacing missing teeth: traditional restorations and implant-supported restorations.
If you are missing one or more consecutive missing teeth, Dr. Hessberger can provide a traditional dental bridge. This restoration consists of natural-looking artificial teeth held in place by two dental crowns. If you are missing most or all of your teeth, you are probably a candidate for traditional dentures.
Dental implant-supported dental crowns, bridges, and dentures are fastened directly to your jawbone via prosthetic tooth roots. Although traditional restorations provide natural-looking replacement of missing teeth, implant-supported restorations provide this as well as several other distinct advantages:
- Outstanding support that keeps restorations firmly in place at all times
- Prevention of jawbone recession
- No alteration of surrounding teeth is required
To help our patients experience the benefits of implant-supported restorations, we offer flexible financing through CareCredit®.
Learn More about Your Options
If you unexpectedly lose a tooth, you have options. Our office can work with you to save your tooth or provide a natural-looking, high-quality replacement. To learn more about how we can help you, schedule a consultation online or call us at (773) 792-5562.