March 2023

Dr. Muhammad Matovu - UDA CDE Coordinator

Consequences Of Tooth Loss

We tend to think about teeth as individual units, your dentist even gives eachtooth a name and number, but in fact they make up a complete system. Each oneadding to its neighbor to function as one.Think about how the keystone in an archholds all the other stones or bricks in place .For purposes of description, we can think about the human dentition fullcomplement of teeth as being composed of the anterior teeth these are thecanines and incisors which are used for cutting and tearing food, and theposterior teeth these are the premolars and molars used for grinding and chewingfood.Importantly , the posterior teeth also support the vertical height of the face , ifthey are lost, the face tends to lose height and close down , this is called posteriorbite collapse .Unlike implants, teeth move not only do changes occur to theremaining back teeth affecting their spacing and biting function, these changesalso put pressure on the front teeth which tend to move or splay forward .All these changes have implications for normal form appearance and function.Theys also have ramifications for other facial and jaw structures which can affectanything from the skin to muscles and jaw joints .Appearance begins to change as the height of the jaw decreases ,wrinklesincrease and the corners of the mouth drop .Additionally , it can become difficultto eat food because the front teeth where not designed for chewing .This is tosay nothing of the social consequences of tooth loss ,smiling ,talking , singing ,laughing and enjoying a nutritionally sound diet all leading to both poor generaland mental health.Teeth Replacements1.Dental implants are relative new kid on the block for replacing missing teeth. Removable options or Dentures .Dentures can replace individual or groups of teeth .a fundamental problem withremovable prostheses is that for stability ,they rest on the teeth and gumstending to cause bone loss through pressure transmitted through the gums uponthey rest. For total teeth replacement whether in the upper or lower jaw fulldentures have been the only option. Fixed bridges .These are non-removable prostheses which are attached to the natural teeth.they act by joining other teeth together with a false tooth or teeth between thembridging the gap.Dr Matovu MuhammadDental Surgeon at Prime Dental Clinic and He is the CDE Coordinator UgandaDental Association.

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