Missing Teeth

Missing teeth is one of the most common dental problems though widely it is actually considered as insignificant. But loss of teeth could lead to functional problems and cosmetic problems. The mechanism of chewing is compromised due to loss of teeth.

Immediately affected functionalities

Front teeth incising and biting on food and a great smile, support to muscles of the face. Tooth loss: leads to imperfection in smile, sagging of face, sinking in of lips

Back teeth grinding and chewing food, gives fullness to cheeks, maintain jaw postures. Tooth loss: can lead to face wrinkling, over closure of lips
Dr. Sudhakar Reddy states that the following problems can arise when functional teeth are lost:

Supra-eruption of opposing tooth – Opposing tooth over-erupts creating gaps between adjoining teeth leading to trapping of food

Drifting of adjacent teeth – Opposing arch tilts to occupy the space created by tooth loss unnecessary gaps are created between gums and tooth which is pocket for food accumulation

Chewing efficiency is compromised

Food accumulation between teeth can cause formation of harmful bacteria leading to gum disease and dental caries

Loss of equilibrium due to lopsided chewing

Alveolar bone area is lost due to extraction of tooth

Overloading of existing functional teeth

Overloading of existing functional teeth

Increased tongue biting and ulcer formations

Dr. Sudhakar Reddy specially recommends the following procedures for missing tooth / teeth:

Dental implants an artificial tooth root is placed into the jaw and a replacement tooth is placed on the artificial tooth root. Natural teeth absorb approximately 540 lbs./sq. inch of biting pressure. Patients with dental implants can withstand 10% more.

Fixed bridges Fixed bridge restorations are crown and bridge procedures. The prosthetic crown caps a tooth restoring it to normal shape. They can be made of porcelain fused to metal substrates, metal and all-white restorative materials. A bridge is attached to protect weak teeth from breaking.

Dentures Dentures can be removable partial dentures or removable complete dentures. These appliances are an economical option compared to other dental restorative procedures. They consist of clasps that can be attached to the jaw and detached when not required.

Authored By DR. SUDHAKAR REDDY - Implantologist, Bangalore

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