Your smile says a lot about you, so it’s vital to take care of your teeth. If you are missing a tooth, it’s essential to understand the non-cosmetic side effects that can affect your life. For one example, studies have shown that missing teeth can lead to depression and poor job performance. In addition, while it might not be apparent at first, your oral structures change without a tooth. As a result, there is bone loss, a changing bite, and risk of decay or disease. With this in mind, let’s learn about what happens if you don’t replace a missing tooth.
What happens if you don’t replace a missing tooth?
Waiting too long to replace a missing tooth can ultimately cause neighboring teeth to drift and teeth crowding to occur. In addition, teeth growing into the void of a missing tooth can make contact, cause painful pressure, and form tight spaces between the teeth and gums.
Can you live with a missing tooth?
It would be best to replace missing teeth as soon as possible to prevent teeth shifting. However, if you have a tooth extracted, it is advised to wait four to six months to have the tooth replaced. All in all, this interval gives your gums time to heal before performing another operation.
Options for replacing a missing tooth
Without the support that your teeth supply, your mouth and cheeks can sink, shrink, and sag, called facial collapse. Here is a list of the best tooth replacement options for restoring your missing or damaged tooth.
- Dental implants. Dental implants are the most common method of tooth replacement.
- Implant-supported bridge. An implant-supported bridge is ideal for multiple missing teeth in a row.
- Tooth-supported bridge
- Removable partial dentures
Treatments for replacing a missing tooth
Dentures are perfect when it’s time to replace a few teeth or the entire set. When a full set of teeth are lost or removed, a full denture is required. On the contrary, partial dentures are needed when a few teeth are missing. A partial denture comprises one or more artificial teeth held in place by clasps that fit onto nearby natural teeth. The good news is that full and part dentures are removable for cleaning.
Dental implants are great replacements because of how natural they look and how well they function. In brief, a titanium prong is embedded into the root area of the jawbone; then, an artificial tooth is attached to this root replacement. It’s important to point out that dental implants can stand alone or be used as supports for bridges.
Dental bridges bridge the gap created by one or more missing teeth. They are supported on either side by neighbouring teeth or by implants if the abutting teeth are unsuitable. The bridge, a type of partial denture, is attached to crowns on the adjacent teeth or connected with metal wings joined to the teeth with resin.
What is the best tooth-replacement option?
Your dentist is the best one to advise you on what solution is best for you should you need to replace a missing tooth or teeth. It is best to take immediate action. Leaving it too long could complicate matters as the body’s natural gap-filling process may have already set the chain reaction in the process.
Dental health is directly associated with confidence, self-esteem, and happiness. So take care of your teeth and protect your smile!