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What should I do if I've lost all my back teeth?

Options for missing teeth in Fairfax, and South RidingWhat should I do if I have lost all my back teeth?

Many adults today have some form of missing teeth. Some may even be missing all of their posterior teeth. If you are in Fairfax, or South Riding and are looking for solutions for missing teeth, contact our Pender Dental Care dental office today. Besides their apparent role in chewing, the posterior teeth affect the overall bite and help ease some of the excessive pressure on the front teeth created by eating. Hence, they play an incredibly vital role in the oral cavity.

Dentists agree the loss of posterior teeth can lead to a wide array of consequences, even in the remaining teeth, gums, jaw muscles, ligaments, and joints:

- Loss of alveolar jaw bone and reduction of the residual bony ridges

- Eruption or extrusion of unopposed teeth

- Decrease in chewing efficiency

- Tipping,  rotation and migration of remaining adjacent teeth

- Painful dysfunction of the temporomandibular joints (TMD) that unite the lower jaw with the skull

Still, if the teeth erupt too much, there may not be enough room to replace the missing teeth below them. Besides that, as a tooth moves, it changes the relationship of how the jaw bone is attached to the tooth. This change may leave the tooth more vulnerable to periodontal disease.

Obviously, then, the replacement would help deter some of these consequences — but which method is best? Dentists now recognize implants as the best option for replacing missing teeth. They have some obvious benefits: as a free-standing restoration, adjacent teeth aren't usually affected by the preparation process, and the replacements are easier to clean and can contribute to the support of the bite.

Another viable but least favorable option is a removable partial denture. Removable restorations can be difficult to wear and trap more food. Because they are moveable, they may put additional stress on the teeth that hold them in place, which could lead to loosening and loss of those teeth. These are removable prosthesis that some people might feel troublesome in taking care of the hygiene and function wise, it may not be as good as the fixed type. Replacing the back teeth is not just about unsightly gaps; there's something less apparent going on in the area of a lost tooth that can affect function, health, facial aesthetics — just about everything.

Believe it or not, in the beginning, and at the end — it's not so much about teeth as it is about bone, which needs stimulation to maintain its form and density. In the case of alveolar (sac-like) bone which surrounds and supports teeth, the necessary stimulation comes from the teeth themselves. Teeth make hundreds of fleeting contacts with each other throughout the day.

I believe you can now see the importance of replacing missing teeth, seen or unseen. Excellent options in dental implants or bridgework are worth looking into and discussing with your dentist.

We at Pender Dental Care, your Fairfax dentist dentist, and South Riding dentist, are excited to help replace your missing teeth in a comfortable and caring atmosphere.

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