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Missing teeth is not an uncommon issue. You may feel incredibly self-conscious about the appearance of your smile if you have lost a tooth, but you are not alone. It is estimated that around 120 million Americans are missing at least one tooth. Out of them, 36 million do not have any teeth at all! These numbers are only expected to grow over the next two decades. While you are likely concerned about the aesthetics of missing a tooth (or more) in your smile, you should also be aware of possible dental health issues that can arise if you do not replace these teeth. Patients in the Spokane Valley, Washington area, turn to dental implants from Dr. Bryan McLelland and Dr Brenen Olsen and the talented team at Liberty Oral & Facial Surgery for their tooth implant needs.

Several tooth replacement options are available to you, including dentures and a dental bridge. While they offer their own benefits, they cannot match up to the benefits provided by a dental implant. Dental implants provide a solid, durable, and long-lasting option for tooth replacement that cannot be beaten. If you are missing a tooth or multiple teeth, a dental implant is your best bet. Failing to replace a missing tooth in your smile can present numerous health issues in the future. Some of these problems may be surprising.


Missing just a single tooth can present difficulties with chewing since it is possible for hard and crunchy foods to get into the space a tooth uses to occupy, causing gum discomfort or even bleeding. If you are missing multiple teeth, you may find it entirely difficult to chew food properly. Proper chewing plays a significant role in your digestion. If you cannot chew food, you may not be getting the nutrients you need for proper health.


Your teeth create their own support system. They use each other for proper support to remain in the appropriate position. Even the very slightest shift can cause bite alignment issues. When you lose a tooth, a gap is created, and this support system becomes compromised. If a tooth replacement option, such as a dental implant, is not used to fill this gap, the teeth on either side can begin to shift inwards into the gap. This creates more gaps and further shifting. This can be a dental nightmare and lead to future tooth loss.


Your jaw relies on stimulation created by the roots of your teeth. Without this stimulation, your body can begin to reabsorb the bone, and facial support leads to a sunken appearance. This is one area where a dental implant will be the only option available to you, which can prevent this from happening. Because it is physically inserted into the jawbone, a dental implant effectively mimics the function of a natural tooth’s root. The implant fuses to the jawbone via a process called osseointegration, creating a solid anchor. It provides the stimulation necessary for your jawbone to remain strong. No other tooth-replacement option can mimic this as they are not surgically inserted into the jawbone.


While we have discussed several ways in which a missing tooth can impact your dental health, one crucial aspect to consider is your mental health. When you lose a tooth, it can compromise your self-esteem. People who are embarrassed by their smile tend to hide it. While once smiling and happy, these individuals can withdraw unto themselves and try to stay in the background so that nobody will see their incomplete smile. Teeth replacement options such as a dental implant provide a completely natural-looking tooth replacement option that nobody will even know exists. You will be back to your happy and smiling self in no time!

Having even a single missing tooth can impact your life in so many ways. Because of this, there is no need to delay getting it replaced with a dental implant offered by Dr. Bryan McLelland and Dr Brenen Olsen and the friendly team at Liberty Oral & Facial Surgery. Schedule a consultation by calling (509) 822-2774 .