Do I Really Need to Replace a Missing Tooth?

If you have a missing tooth, wherever it may be in your mouth, you might be self-conscious about it. You may wonder if you are the only one with this situation, but according to the American Dental Association, the average adult between the ages of 20 and 64 has at least three decayed or missing teeth.

When people have a missing tooth in the front, or anticipate having one due to getting a tooth pulled, they usually get a replacement tooth for cosmetic purposes. But it is just as important to replace a missing back tooth, even if no one can see it. Aesthetics are a common reason to replace a missing tooth, but there are many other health benefits as well.

Some of these reasons are:

  • • A big space between your teeth, regardless of where it is, can affect how you speak or eat.
  • • A missing molar can affect how you chew food, which may lead to nutritional deficits if you are modifying your diet.
  • • With a missing tooth, remaining teeth may shift in your mouth.
  • • Bone loss can occur around a missing tooth, which can affect your facial structure.
  • • Changes in jaw structure, due to a misaligned bite from missing teeth, can lead to Temporal Mandibular Joint Syndrome. This can become severe, leading to jaw pain, earaches, headaches, and even back and shoulder pain.

Your family dentist can speak to you about some options for replacing a missing tooth. Even if your tooth has been missing for a long time, you can still replace it. And if you know you need a procedure to remove a damaged or decayed tooth, you can go over your options beforehand.

Options to Replace Missing Teeth

The most common options for replacing missing teeth are:

  • • Dental Implants
  • • Bridges
  • • Dentures

Of these options, a dental implant will give you the most comfort, the most natural look and provide the best long-term advantages, including maintaining mouth and facial structure.

If you are considering a dental implant, it is best to do it as soon as you can. The longer you have a missing tooth or missing teeth, the more shifting and bone loss can occur.

Whether you have a missing tooth already, or need one removed due to damage or decay, speak to your dentist about your options for replacement. And consider a dental implant. Dental implants have great long-term success and a natural appearance.

If you would like to speak to Watkin Dental Associates about these options, please call us to schedule a visit to our dentist office or discuss your options by phone. Our experienced, caring dental staff is happy to help.