How important is it to replace missing teeth?
Research shows that 6 per cent of the adult population in the UK have no natural teeth. Adults who have lost natural teeth must rely on missing tooth replacement devices like Sheen Dental implants Richmond to restore their dental function.
Is it necessary to replace missing teeth? Of course the answer is a resounding yes! Having those empty sockets in the dental arch unfilled presents a whole range of undesirable consequences that directly or indirectly affect the quality of life. Some problems with missing teeth have immediate consequences, while the negative impact of other problems becomes apparent later down the line.
Reasons dentists recommend replacing missing teeth
The top priority of dentists with patients suffering from missing teeth is to restore dental function and preserve dental health.
The main function of teeth is the masticating of food to aid digestion. Food needs to be chewed until it is in minute portions and soft enough to be digested easily. When food is not ground down properly because there are not enough teeth left in the mouth or the missing teeth replacement devices are ill-fitting, nutritional deficiencies or malnutrition becomes a major concern. Missing dentition is listed as one of the physical causes of malnutrition. Not meeting daily nutritional needs leads to a weakened body state with organs not receiving the nutrients they need to function well and as a result, ill health becomes inevitable.
Another vital function of teeth is aiding clear speech. Missing teeth may create distortions in pronunciation. Not articulating words correctly is associated with a loss of confidence. Confidence levels are closely tied to psychosocial health.
In addition to impaired dental function, missing teeth also put the health of the mouth at risk. Teeth do not exist in isolation in the mouth. Tooth health is closely connected to gum and jawbone health. Gaps in the dental arch can create oral hygiene challenges. When teeth are not cleaned properly, this gives bad bacteria in the mouth the ideal opportunity to thrive.
Gum disease is an unwanted eventuality of poor oral hygiene. The impact of teeth on jawbone density is often an underappreciated fact. It is the roots of teeth that serve jawbone health, by providing the bone with much-needed stimulus to continue to grow. This is why oral implants have become the gold standard in replacing missing teeth. The treatment plan targets both dental masticatory function and the protection of jawbone integrity.
The disastrous impact on the smile may be the hardest consequence of missing teeth for the adult patient to bear. No one wants to be embarrassed by having to smile a gap-toothed smile. Having an imperfect smile corresponds with a loss of confidence. We depend on a healthy confidence to grab life’s opportunities of making friends, finding a life partner and being seen as intelligent, capable and a leader – all desirable traits that improve one’s prospects in job hunting.
Teeth remain the unsung heroes in maintaining a good quality of life. Only when they have been lost to decay or an unfortunate knock to the face is their true value recognised and the need to find suitable replacement solutions take priority.