Do You Need to Replace Missing Teeth?
by Dr. Scott Bolding
The short answer is yes.
Tooth loss can happen for a number of reasons. Sometimes teeth fall out on their own due to injury or trauma. Other times they need to be pulled because of disease and decay.
It’s not ideal but when it happens, you need to fill in the gaps left behind as quickly as possible. You may be putting it off because of the cost or because you’re anxious about another dental procedure. But not replacing missing teeth will have a serious impact on your oral health and other areas of your life. You need to do what you can to preserve your smile.
Let’s take a look at why you need to replace your missing teeth.
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Reasons You Need to Replace Missing Teeth
Effects on Oral Health
If you don’t replace your missing teeth, problems can arise with your oral health. One of the largest issues is when surrounding teeth shift to fill in the gap. This can happen on the same row or on the opposite incisor. Both issues can cause problems with your bite, which can result in an unwanted TMJ disorder.
If shifting occurs on the opposite incisor, you may be looking at super eruption problems as well. A super eruption happens when the teeth opposite the missing space start extracting themselves to overcompensate for the gaps. This happens because they have nothing to press against. It exposes the roots, which have no enamel to protect them against decay. As a result, it can lead to infection or disease that may cause even more tooth loss and unwanted pain. While super eruption is common in children whose teeth are just starting to come in, it can lead to more serious problems if it occurs during adulthood.
The gaps left by the missing teeth also make you more vulnerable to infection. The infection will then spread to your other teeth. Eventually, your remaining teeth will fall out or need to be pulled as well.
Other issues that can occur from not replacing your teeth include the following:
- Altered facial structure
- Loosened teeth
- Bone loss
Other Effects of Not Replacing Missing Teeth
It doesn’t stop there, though. Missing teeth don’t just affect your mouth; they can also affect your overall well-being.
A healthy smile plays a role in how you see yourself. You may find yourself feeling self-conscious. You start trying to hide your smile. Replacing your missing can help you feel better about how you look. This kind of confidence will spread to other parts of your life.
Having gaps in your smile also makes it hard to eat certain foods, especially if you’re missing teeth in the front. Apples, carrots, nuts, crusty bread, and steak can all become harder to eat when you don’t have all your teeth. This impacts your overall health. If you’re wanting to eat healthily, replacing your teeth is important.
How Can You Replace Missing Teeth?
There are several options for replacing your teeth. The right one for you depends on your situation. You need to discuss your needs with an oral surgeon who can help you make the right decision.
Dental implants are one of the most common ways people replace their missing teeth. Receiving one involves the surgical placement of a titanium screw, topped by an artificial tooth (mini implants are similar, except the screws are smaller). Implants are typically given to those with one or more missing teeth.
Bridges and dentures are two other options. Bridges typically replace two or more teeth and do not have to be in any sequential order. Dentures, on the other hand, replace several or all teeth consecutively on one or both jaws.
For either option, you have the choice to receive a fixed or removable version of the appliance—the difference being that fixed bridges and dentures are held in place by implants while removable ones are held in place by adhesive, applied daily. The fixed option can use as little as two or four implants, depending on the nature of the situation. Meanwhile, the removable option requires no implants at all.
Hoover, D. (2018, February 6). 4 Important Reasons to Replace Your Missing Tooth in Medford. Medford NJ Dentist. https://www.drshoover.com/4-important-reasons-replace-missing-tooth/
Do I Need to Replace a Missing Tooth? (n.d.). https://www.berlindental.com/blog/2018/03/do-i-need-to-replace-a-missing-tooth
You Need to Replace Missing Teeth
Your Oral Health Depends on It
Replacing missing teeth is essential for your oral health. Not replacing teeth that have fallen out or been extracted will lead to major problems for the rest of your mouth. You’re more susceptible to infections and disease. Your bite is also affected as your other teeth shift to fill the gaps. This can lead to more serious issues like a TMJ disorder.
Filling in the gaps in your smile also improves other areas of your life. You’ll be able to eat your favorite healthy foods. And with your new teeth, you’ll be able to love your smile again.
There are several options for replacing your missing teeth. Dental implants are the most common. Of course, the right option for you depends on your needs. You need to find an oral surgeon or dentist who can help you make the right decision.
Here at PRECiDENT Center for Facial and Dental Medicine, we want you to love your smile again. We want your mouth to be healthy. And we’re here to help you make that happen.