Some people only worry about replacing a missing tooth if the gap is visible in their so-called “smile zone.” But if the empty space is able to go unnoticed, the missing tooth is often not replaced. Unfortunately, choosing not to replace a missing tooth is a huge mistake! A missing tooth will eventually turn into a very serious problem.
Each individual tooth in your mouth plays an important role in your overall dental health. The loss of a back tooth can hinder one’s ability to chew, but that missing tooth’s absence can cause even greater problems in the future.
Here’s what happens: A missing tooth allows the other teeth to shift out of place. So, if you’re hoping your missing back tooth won’t affect your smile, the fact is that it someday will.
It may seem counterintuitive, but a missing tooth also results in more difficulty brushing and flossing around that area of the mouth. And when this toothless part of the mouth isn’t properly cleaned, gum disease sets in, leading to tooth decay and additional tooth loss. This may very well be one reason why there seems to be a momentum to tooth loss. Once a person loses one tooth, more losses usually follow, unless the initial missing tooth is replaced.
The most important reason to replace a missing tooth is bone loss. The bone structure that lies beneath the gums holds the teeth in place. Once a tooth is gone, the bone that was supporting that particular tooth begins to wear away. Bone needs stimulation to maintain its form and density, so without a tooth in that area, the bone begins to break down. This wearing away of bone can cause the teeth surrounding the gap to move inward toward the empty space.
Dental Implants: A Secure Solution
Obviously, the best tooth is a healthy, natural tooth. It’s like your grandmother’s old adage about “an ounce of prevention…” It behooves us all to brush our teeth twice a day, floss once daily, eat a balanced diet and attend regular dental exams and cleanings.
But if you find yourself in a situation where you have one or more missing teeth, Family Dentistry encourages you to explore the option of dental implants, which are substitute or replacement tooth roots that provide a stable foundation for a replacement crown.
Many people believe that dental implants are the second-best option (next to your natural teeth, of course), because implants are the treatment that comes closest to imitating the function and stability of your natural teeth.
So, if you’re self-conscious about some spaces in your smile — or perhaps your dentures make you nervous because they don’t feel secure — dental implants are a strong and stable solution for replacing missing teeth.
If you’d like to learn more about the benefits of implant dentistry, you can call and schedule your implant consultation at 812.853.3313.