Missing teeth? Keep smiling
Whether you're missing teeth because of dental caries, gum disease, or an injury, tooth loss can impact your overall quality of life if left untreated. Tooth loss can affect how you chew, can cause bone loss, and can lead to other health conditions.
Fortunately, there are ways to restore your mouth. It is important to talk to a dentist about the option that is most suitable for you and will best fit your life so that you can keep smiling.
Definition of partially dentate patients
A “partially dentate patient” is defined as “a person with an incomplete natural dentition, where one or more teeth are congenitally absent or have been extracted due to disease or trauma or surgery.”
In other words, a “partially dentate patient” is a person without a complete set of natural teeth, as one or more teeth are missing. This is because the teeth have never grown, or have been lost.
The causes of tooth loss or missing teeth
Tooth loss or missing teeth are usually due to four main causes.
Some people are born without certain teeth or with certain teeth that never came in; this condition is called congenital absence. This can result in gaps and spaces in the mouth where the teeth are missing.
Disease: most often dental caries and gum disease
It is important to practise good oral hygiene to maintain a healthy mouth throughout life. If plaque is allowed to build up, it can cause holes in the teeth (dental caries) and gum disease (periodontal disease). Untreated disease can lead to tooth loss.
Tooth loss can be a result of trauma, for example, an accident or sports injury. The impact may dislodge a tooth or damage it beyond repair, eventually causing it to fall out or to be removed.
Although saving teeth is generally more preferable, surgical tooth extractions may sometimes be necessary due to trauma and disease, such as oral cancer.
The effects of tooth loss or missing teeth
Missing teeth or partial tooth loss can affect every aspect of life.
It can impact our ability to chew, limiting the foods we enjoy.
It can make it hard to speak properly.
It can undermine our self-confidence, especially when aesthetics is compromised, and affect our relationship with others.