When Cavities Lead to Tooth Loss, a Dentist Discusses the Best Solutions

When Cavities Lead to Tooth Loss, a Dentist Discusses the Best Solutions

Posted by Del Rey Dental on Nov 19 2018, 06:06 AM

When Cavities Lead to Tooth Loss, a Dentist Discusses the Best Solutions

When you think about getting a cavity, you probably think about having a toothache or getting a filling. But, in some cases, large cavities can actually lead to tooth loss, which impacts more than the appearance of your smile. In addition to affecting your self-confidence, it can also lead to other problems that cost you more time and money to fix down the road. That’s why a dentist will always recommend trying to save a tooth or replacing it when an extraction is necessary. In this blog, you’ll learn about how cavities develop, why it’s so important to save your teeth, and what the best replacement options are for missing teeth. Find out more below!

How Does Tooth Decay Develop?

Your teeth are made of three layers: enamel (the hard, outer layer), dentin (the softer, middle layer), and finally the nerve and pulp tissue in the innermost layer.

When you consume foods and beverages (especially anything sugary), the bacteria in your mouth produce acid that wear away your teeth, starting with the outer enamel layer.

When cavities are fairly small and are caught early enough, they only affect the outer layers of the teeth and can be treated with a simple filling or dental crown.

But if they go untreated and become large enough, they can destroy the entire tooth and make it impossible to save or restore. In these cases, a dentist will recommend an extraction.

Why Is It Important To Replace a Missing Tooth?

You may think that missing a tooth isn’t a big deal, especially if it’s a back tooth that doesn’t show when you smile. But there are several surprising consequences that can occur:

  • The jaws lose bone mass and become thin and brittle, ultimately leading to changes in facial structure and appearance.
  • Other teeth can shift and move, which makes them more likely to develop cavities and other issues.
  • Eating and speaking become more difficult.

What’s the Best Way To Replace Missing Teeth?

Fortunately, there are some great replacement options that will restore your smile and maintain your oral health:

  • Bridges – A bridge can be used to replace the look and function of a single missing tooth. Using the two healthy teeth on either side of the empty space as anchors, a crown takes the place of the missing tooth in the middle. Bridges last an average of 10-15 years.
  • Dental implants – A dental implant is a titanium post that’s placed in the jaw to replace the root of a missing tooth. Replacing the root is the key factor that gives implants their strength, stability and longevity. Once the implant is placed, it’s given 3-6 months to fuse with the surrounding jawbone. Then a crown, bridge or denture (depending on how many teeth are missing) is attached to complete the restoration. Implants can last many decades, or even a lifetime, with basic care and maintenance.

Everyone needs a full complement of teeth for a healthy smile. With a bridge or dental implant, you can restore your missing teeth and look forward to a lifetime of great oral health!

About the Author

Dr. Andrew Tados is a general, cosmetic and restorative dentist who understands the impact that losing a tooth can have on his patients’ lives. He always focuses on prevention first to help his patients prevent tooth loss, but when replacement is necessary, he offers multiple replacement options, including bridges, dentures and dental implants. If you have any questions, he can be reached via his website or at 469.917.7444.

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