The possible causes of tooth loss are numerous. Sometimes tooth loss can be attributed to a badly broken or decayed tooth. Often, patients may choose to have a tooth removed as an alternative to the root canal procedure. For other patients, bone loss and periodontal disease may have led to tooth loss. Congenital tooth loss, a term used when a permanent tooth fails to develop, can also leave older teens and adults in search of a tooth replacement.

No matter the initial cause for the missing tooth, the consequences of ignoring tooth loss can have long-lasting effects. Dental implants in Morton Grove IL are a fantastic alternative for patients desiring to replace one or more lost teeth.

Making the decision to replace even a single missing tooth can significantly reduce or eliminate the risks associated with tooth loss:

Decreased chewing efficiency. The first obstacle that most patients encounter when faced with tooth loss is difficulty in chewing. Many patients may be forced to chew on one side of the mouth. In cases where multiple teeth are missing, patients may even be forced to chew with the front teeth. This type of unnatural chewing pattern can lead to permanent and painful damage to the jaw joint. Difficulty chewing may also greatly limit your dietary choices, preventing you from enjoying a wide variety of meats, fruits, and vegetables.

Shifted and crowded teeth. It is natural that the teeth tend to drift toward the midline unless there are structures in place to prevent their movement. When a tooth is missing, the neighboring teeth will follow their natural tendency to drift out of place. This can easily lead to crowded teeth and a variety of periodontal problems, such as bone loss. In addition, this shifting can influence the way that the top and bottom teeth fit together.

Impaired self-confidence. Many patients experience a level of insecurity or self- consciousness about their missing teeth. Smiling and laughing in public can be awkward or embarrassing. For some patients, the lost tooth can affect the fullness of the face and lips, creating sunken cheeks and drooping lips.