"I have a missing tooth. Should I replace it?"
Yes. You should absolutely replace a missing tooth.
Depending on its location, a missing tooth can have a profound impact on the appearance of your smile. This is, however, far from the largest concern. When one or more teeth is missing, a whole host of oral health issues can follow.
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. Not only does this change the strength and tension of your bite, it allows for new spaces in between the teeth where food and bacteria can easily get trapped.
When food, debris, and bacteria area allowed to accumulate, risks for gum disease, gum recession, bone loss, root exposure, increased sensitivity, and tooth decay are all heightened. In addition to these risks, the changes to the bite caused by tooth loss increase risks for jaw joint disorders such as TMJ and can result in chronic and lasting discomfort.
When you lose a tooth, you also lose its root. The root of a tooth secures it in place. It also sends signals to the body that bone is needed in that area of the jaw. When the root is gone, those signals cease, allowing the jaw to collapse and shrink around the hole. This will change both the structure of your jaw and the shape/appearance of your face.
Most tooth replacement options focus on the crown of the tooth. Dental bridges and dentures can restore most functional benefit, work to prevent tooth slippage, and help produce a more attractive smile. They cannot, however, prevent bone loss. Only dental implants can prevent this issue.
Tooth Replacement Options
The sooner you act to replacing a missing tooth, the better able you are to avoid serious complications. We offer three main ways to replace missing teeth:
Each of these has its benefits and limitations. None of these are ideal for every person or need. All of them are better than the alternative of living with a weakened and compromised smile.
Are you missing one or more teeth? Call Evolution Dental at 403-208-9965 to schedule your next visit. We serve Calgary, Arbour Lake, Cochrane, and all surrounding areas of Alberta.