Many people assume that a missing tooth only has cosmetic consequences. But while having a gap in your smile is enough to make anyone self-conscious, there are also numerous health-related reasons not to ignore a missing tooth. Whether you opt for a bridge, removable partial dentures, or a dental implant, here’s a look at why it’s important to replace a lost tooth.
- Your teeth may shift and loosen: Every tooth helps maintain the stability of the one next to it. If you lose a permanent tooth, the surrounding teeth may begin shifting to fill the gap, undoing years of orthodontic work.
- Chewing may be more difficult: The sensitive gum tissue where your tooth is missing can make it painful to chew in that part of your mouth. Then, if your teeth drift out of place, your bite may suffer, making chewing even more uncomfortable. Over time, you may find it cumbersome to eat solid, healthy food like fruits and vegetables, which can lead to poor nutrition.
- You could develop TMJ disorder: To avoid discomfort, you may start chewing food on only one side of your mouth. However, this can strain your jaw muscles and lead to temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder, resulting in jaw pain, chronic headaches, and other symptoms. Lopsided chewing can also wear down your teeth unevenly and affect their appearance.
- You may be more prone to cavities and gum disease. A shifting smile and altered bite can make your teeth harder to clean. This means you’re more vulnerable to tooth decay and gum disease, both of which may lead to further tooth loss.
- Your jaw bone could deteriorate: A healthy jaw is only possible if you have healthy teeth to stimulate the production of new cells. If you lose one or more teeth, this stimulation disappears, which can lead to bone loss.
- Your appearance could change: When your opposing teeth have nothing to make contact with, your muscles and bone structure may begin to change. This problem is most apparent if you lose several teeth, which can lead to sunken cheeks and an aged appearance.
- Your self-esteem could suffer: Losing baby teeth may have been fun as a kid, but having a gap in your smile as an adult can drain your confidence level. First, you become concerned with your appearance and cover your mouth when you smile. Then, you may avoid talking too much if you develop a speech issue. Depression and anxiety can set in as a result.
If you recently lost a tooth in a traumatic incident or had a decayed tooth extracted, visit Park 56 Dental to explore your tooth-restoration options. We recommend dental implants to many of our patients because they provide a hassle-free, long-lasting way to replace a lost tooth. Even if you didn’t qualify for an implant in the past, you may now be eligible. To find out what makes us the best dentist in New York, please call us at (212) 826-2322 and schedule a consultation.
Most people know the basics of dental care, but how many of us really know the anatomy of our teeth? Here’s a short overview of what our teeth are made of.
Quite simply, the crown is the part of the tooth that you can see.
The hardest tissue in your whole body is the enamel of your teeth, which forms the outermost layer of the crown. This substance is why your teeth can withstand the pressure from chewing hard foods. It also protects your teeth from harmful bacteria and acids, as well as hot and cold foods. Enamel mostly consists of calcium phosphate, a rock-hard mineral.
Right below the enamel is a yellowish material called dentin. It is a hard tissue made of microscopic tubes. When the enamel is damaged or worn away, heat or cold can enter the tooth through these tubes and cause pain. Every tooth is mostly dentin, which is why teeth have a slight yellowish tint. Like enamel, dentin mostly consists of apatite crystals of calcium and phosphate. This makes it hard as bone, but it’s not quite as hard as enamel.
Below dentin is pulp, the softest, most alive and innermost portion of the tooth. Pulp consists of connective tissue , nerves, and blood vessels, which nourish your teeth. Pulp has two parts — the pulp chamber, which is in the crown, and the root canal, which lies in the root of the tooth. Nerves and blood vessels enter the root through a small hole in its tip and extend through the root canal into the pulp chamber.
Cementum is a layer of connective tissue that secures the roots of your teeth firmly to your gums and jawbone.
A layer of cementum coats the exterior of the root, under the gum line, and binds the tooth into place within the jawbone. Cementum is as hard as bone, but it’s slightly softer than dentin. It consists of about 45–50% inorganic minerals and 50–55% organic matter (mostly collagen and glycoproteins) plus water.
The periodontal ligament, also called the desmodontium, is a fibrous joint that holds the root of each tooth in its bone socket. The periodontal ligament fibers are anchored in the cementum layer of the tooth and in the alveolar jaw bone. They hold the teeth in a state of sprung suspension, which means that each tooth can move slightly within its alveolar bone socket.
If you’re looking for the perfect place to get your teeth cleaned or fixed, choose the practice that was voted best dentist in NYC! At Park 56 Dental Group, we offer pediatric, prosthodontics, endodontics, oral surgery, Invisalign®, emergency, and sedation dentistry, all at the highest level of treatment. We serve the Midtown, Central Park, Upper East Side, Park Avenue, and all surrounding Manhattan and New York areas, with a patient-centered practice that has hours to fit your schedule. Schedule your complimentary consultation today by contacting us online or calling us at (646) 679-3989.
At Park 56 Dental, we are committed to providing our patients with safe, gentle, high-quality dental care. We understand that you or your child may feel apprehensive about your first visit to our office. That’s why we’ll do everything we can to not only make you feel comfortable but truly pampered during your time with us. Here’s what to expect when you visit Park 56 Dental in NYC for the first time.
Review Your Dental & Medical History
Our first goal during your dental consultation is to understand your health. We will review any records you have from previous dentists, along with the patient information form we ask you to complete. Be sure to provide as much information as possible to accurately convey your health status.
Also, don’t forget to bring your insurance card so you can take advantage of your dental benefits when paying for services. This is also a good time to discuss any dental anxiety you have. Sedation dentistry could be a good option for you, depending on your needs.
Take Digital X-Rays
The next step is to have a closer look at your teeth and gums by taking X-rays. The digital imaging technology we use decreases radiation exposure by 90%, ensuring your safety while also making images available for immediate review. Your X-rays serve as a baseline for your current dental health and help us recommend immediate and long-term treatment options.
Clean and Polish Your Teeth
With digital imaging complete, it’s time to clean your teeth. Here’s what this entails:
- Physical exam: A dental hygienist checks your teeth and gums for signs of gingivitis. If major problems are detected, the hygienist might call in the dentist to make sure it’s okay to proceed with the cleaning.
- Plaque and tartar removal: Using a small mirror to check all surfaces, your hygienist removes plaque and tartar buildup from your teeth. This may involve scraping and spraying your teeth with a high-pressure water jet.
- Polishing: The hygienist polishes and removes stains from your teeth using a gritty paste.
- Flossing and rinsing: The hygienist touches up your smile by flossing and rinsing with water.
- Fluoride treatment: An optional fluoride gel at the end of your cleaning helps protect your teeth against cavities until your next dentist appointment.
Meet with the Dentist
Following a comprehensive teeth cleaning, your dentist will sit down with you to review the findings and discuss any immediate treatment needs. This is your chance to ask questions and discuss any cosmetic dentistry services you’re interested in, including veneers, tooth reshaping, whitening, and more.
Everyone’s busy, but regular dental checkups are an important part of maintaining a healthy smile! In fact, the American Dental Association recommends visiting the dentist every six months. If it’s been longer than this since your last visit, contact Park 56 Dental at (212) 826-2322 to schedule your first appointment with NYC’s best dentist. We have over 20 years of experience serving patients in the 10022 zip code area.
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