May 11, 2019
If you’re missing one or more teeth, it can make life kind of annoying. You might not be able to treat yourself to a fancy steak dinner anymore. You might not be able to chew your favorite fruity gum. You know there are ways to replace missing teeth, but it seems like there are too many options. Should you even bother? Read more to find out what can happen if you don’t replace your missing teeth.
Missing Teeth Can Affect Your Physical Health…
It might be tempting to not replace a missing tooth, especially if it’s in the back of your mouth. If no one can see it, what’s the point? Actually, a lot can happen when you don’t get the tooth replaced. For one, the adjacent teeth might shift to try and fill in the gap. When your teeth are misaligned like that, it can increase your risk of decay and gum disease, which might cause you to lose even more teeth!
Additionally, once the root of a tooth is gone, your jawbone starts to deteriorate in that area. This is because it no longer receives stimulation from the root through biting and chewing. It can make your face have a more sunken and older appearance.
…And Your Mental Health Too
You don’t want to look older than you actually are, which is one of the main reasons why you should get your missing tooth replaced. Also, eating your favorite chewy or crunchy foods might be next to impossible. Going out to eat with friends or family can be a nightmare, as you watch them eat your favorite dish while you have to stick to a diet of soft foods. If your missing tooth is in the front of your mouth, you may get self-conscious and develop a habit of covering your mouth when you smile or laugh. All of these factors can lead to feelings of depression over time.
Options for Tooth Replacement
There are a few different options for replacing missing teeth, including:
- Dentures. This set of artificial teeth fits snugly over the gums with adhesive or natural suction. They restore your biting power and can replace several or even all missing teeth at once.
- Bridges. A bridge is an appliance made of two or more crowns that is anchored onto two surrounding teeth. The crowns on the end are attached to teeth with a dental prosthesis, or false tooth, in the middle to literally bridge the gap between missing teeth.
- Dental implants. Dental implants are truly the best option when it comes to replacing missing teeth. Your dentist will insert a metal post into your jawbone to act as an artificial tooth root. From there, the post will fuse with the bone until the implant essentially becomes a part of you. Finally, your dentist will top the implant with a crown to make it look and feel just like your natural tooth did.
Replacing missing teeth is about a lot more than appearance. You have a lot of options, so talk to your dentist about which one would be the best for you.
About the Author
Dr. J. Benjamin Patrick has been serving the Athens, GA community for almost 4 decades now. He earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the Medical College of Georgia School of Dentistry and is a proud member of the American Dental Association. You can contact his office here or by calling (706)-546-8720.
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