Missing Teeth Are More Common Than Most Think
Young children are not the only ones who lose their teeth. The average American adult loses 12 permanent teeth to decay, injury, or gum disease by 50.
This is more than a cosmetic problem; missing teeth can weaken your jaw, impact your bite, and make it much more difficult to chew and speak.
Is It Necessary To Replace A Missing Tooth?
It is not necessary to replace a missing tooth. People can survive without teeth, but should you replace that missing, or soon-to-be missing, tooth?
Some teeth are more important than others, and studies have shown that people can adapt quite well when certain teeth are missing or up to a certain number of teeth. However, once past that point, the quality of life diminishes.
It is also a personal issue, as some people have very few concerns despite losing a large number of teeth, while for others, the loss of just one or two teeth can be pretty traumatic and debilitating.
As dentists, we want all of our patients to have as healthy a mouth as possible, but this does not necessarily mean trying to save or replace every tooth.
The reality of missing a tooth
It's a bad day when you're told that a tooth needs to be extracted for whatever reason. Sometimes the value of teeth is not realized until they are lost; unfortunately, teeth do not last forever.
Replacing a missing tooth is more than just improving the smile's appearance. To fully understand the importance of replacing a tooth, it is crucial to understand the effects of leaving the tooth unreplaced.
Disadvantages of losing one or more teeth
A missing tooth can change the look of your smile. Whether a missing tooth is the result of gum disease, injury, severe tooth decay, or a genetic condition, a missing tooth can cause several problems.
It can also affect speech, the ability to chew food, the integrity of the jaw bone, and the slowness with which teeth move into some of the gaps.
Regardless of losing a tooth, it can negatively affect tooth alignment over time. Even the loss of a single tooth can harm your oral health and confidence.
Replace that missing tooth or not?
If you've lost a tooth, especially one that isn't visible to others when you talk or smile, you may think you can get by without replacing it. Sure it will feel weird for a while, but you'll get used to it, won't you?
Not replacing a missing tooth can have severe physical and mental consequences, affecting not only your physiognomy but also your self-perception and self-esteem.
Those with a missing tooth have probably heard a lot about the positive effects of tooth replacement options. This process is not as complex as you think and will pay off in the long run.
So why risk the ongoing damage caused by missing teeth when so many tooth replacement options are available today? Working hand in hand with an experienced restorative dentist like Dr. Baker to discuss your tooth replacement options may be the solution you didn't know you needed.
Tooth replacement options
Replacing a missing tooth is no longer an ordeal in your parent's generation. There is no ideal option. The best may vary from person to person, depending on which tooth or teeth were lost, their relationship to the other remaining teeth, how long ago they were lost, their health, their age, and the condition of their other teeth.
With that understood, currently, at Chandler Dentistry, our professionals offer four options when someone loses one or more teeth:
- Dental implants
- Dental bridges
- Dental crowns
- Partial or complete dentures
Whether the tooth was lost through injury, gum disease, or decay, each option has its pros and cons, which our dental professionals can help you weigh based on your specific needs and budget.
Missing tooth restoration at Chandler, AZ
The consequences of leaving a hole in your smile are too severe to overlook, whether it's jaw bone resorption and headaches to misaligned teeth and speech problems.
At Chandler Dentistry, Dr. Baker and his team of highly trained and dedicated professionals can help guide you toward the best solution for your missing teeth. Our experts are committed to helping you and your family maintain excellent oral health for life.
If you are missing one or more teeth, don't know whether or not to replace them, and would like more information about your options, contact us immediately. Call us today at (480) 687-5656 or visit us and find all the information you are looking for in one place.