According to the American Dental Association, the average adult between the age of 20 and 64 has three or more decayed or missing teeth.
If you’ve lost a tooth, especially one that’s not visible when you speak or smile, you may be thinking you can get away without replacing it. But will you get use to how weird the empty space feels?
Over time, the teeth next to the missing tooth will shift or drift toward each other in an attempt to fill in the gap. This leads to a condition called malocclusion, which means the teeth are not aligned properly.
Malocclusion can cause changes in your bite, which can result in extra strain on the jaw, difficulty chewing, and an increased risk for tooth decay.
Missing teeth can also cause bone loss along the jawline, which leads to a sagging appearance around the mouth. The bone tissue no longer receives support from the tooth, so it weakens over time and can cause you to look older. Not replacing a missing tooth can have physical and mental consequences.
Mental Consequences of Not Replacing a Missing Tooth
Missing or misaligned teeth can affect your self-esteem and self-confidence. This can have a negative impact in daily life or social situations.
Restoring Your Smile
With today’s dental advances, you don’t have to suffer from missing teeth. Here are some options to replace a lost tooth or teeth:
Implants. Most similar to a natural tooth and have become most popular.
Bridges. Anchored to the adjacent teeth of the space and a pontic (replacement tooth) in between.
Dentures or Partials. An option if you’ve lost all or most of your teeth.
The replacement process is not as difficult as you might think and will pay off in the long run. Talk with Dr. Dan or Dr. Mike about which option is best for you.