"I have a missing tooth. Should I replace it?"
A missing tooth can be a serious concern. While it may not initially bother you, it can result in unwanted consequences. It is usually a good idea to replace the missing tooth as soon as possible, as it can affect your smile and facial aesthetics as your lips and cheeks may sink into the missing space.
Losing a tooth will cause the surrounding teeth to shift. The tooth behind the missing tooth will tilt forward, and the tooth that was once opposing it will over-erupt into the new space. This shifting results in bone loss and new spaces in between the teeth, leading to areas that trap food. This greatly increases the risk of gum disease, gum recession, bone loss, tooth mobility, root exposure, sensitivity, and tooth decay. Shifting teeth will also change your bite, which can lead to pain and problems with your jaw joint.
Replacing a missing tooth immediately or shortly after it is lost can prevent these problems. There are three main ways to replace missing teeth: a fixed bridge, removable appliance, or a dental implant. A fixed bridge is stable and uses the neighbouring teeth as support, however you have to prepare these two teeth even if they are perfectly sound. A removable appliance is a partial denture that is a more economical method, especially if there is more than one tooth missing. A dental implant does not require any preparation of the surrounding teeth, and it preserves the jaw bone. Each of these procedures has their advantages, so ensure that you contact us immediately if you have lost a tooth and we can assess what the best option is for you.