Missing Tooth – Must It Be Replaced?

Sometimes we lose a tooth, whether due to decay, periodontal or gum disease or from trauma such as an injury to the mouth. If the resulting hole is not visible when you smile or speak, you may wonder if you could get by without visiting the dentist to have it replaced.

What’s the harm?

There will be problems if you don’t replace that tooth! And don’t worry, the replacement process isn’t as hard as you are thinking and will certainly pay off into the future.

The problem is that over time the teeth next to the missing one will shift toward each other. This is a natural process but will lead to malocclusion, meaning that the teeth are not aligned correctly. Malocclusion can lead to jaw strain, difficulty chewing and even tooth decay if an overbite or crossbite results.

Another problem will result when the tooth on the opposite side, either over or under the hole, starts to grow longer. This happens because you are no longer chewing against the other teeth naturally and can cause stress to the tooth.

With missing teeth, you will not chew your food properly even though you may not notice it. This can lead to acid reflux and even malnutrition when nutrients are not absorbed properly in the digestive tract. Back molars, while not usually visible to others, are essential for proper chewing and digestion.

A missing tooth or two can even cause bone loss along the jawline. Your mouth may appear to sag. Don’t let the problem of missing teeth deteriorate this far!

We Have the Solutions For Replacing Missing Teeth

For many of our patients, dental implants are a smart solution. These devices actually replace the root of the tooth and provide a strong foundation for either permanent or removable replacement teeth.

Dental implants look and feel like your own teeth. Your speech, chewing and self-esteem will all improve! They are comfortable and can be brushed and flossed just like your natural teeth. Unlike removable dentures, implants don’t slip and allow you to eat your favorite foods without pain.

Most individuals with healthy gums and substantial bone to hold the implant are good candidates for the implant procedure. Those with chronic disorders like diabetes or heart disease, who smoke or who have had radiation therapy to the head or neck must be evaluated individually.

Oher solutions to replace a missing tooth are a removable partial denture or bridge and a fixed permanent bridge.

Don’t suffer from missing teeth! Please come in for a visit so we can discuss all available options for restoring your teeth.

Let Us Know If You Have Questions on Any Aspect of Oral Health Care

Dr. Lorraine Burio of Candlewood Dental Care has been treating and educating patients for over twenty-five years. Our office serves the New Fairfield, New Milford, Danbury, and Sherman areas of CT and Pawling, Patterson and Putnam Lake of New York. You can call us at 203-746-1200 or make an appointment here.