When my patients find out they’re going to lose a tooth, they can’t help but feel panicked. What will they look like, what will others think, and how will their lives be affected? They also have to make a decision about what tooth replacement method will work best for them. See, even if someone loses a tooth in the back of their mouth where few people will notice, it’s important to replace it in order to prevent problems in the future. What are these problems and what can be done to prevent them?
When you lose a tooth, you also lose the root that was once firmly planted in your jaw. In the absence of the root, your jaw bone and oral tissues begin to shift. This can result in:
- Overlapping teeth that are difficult to clean, increasing your chances of tooth decay and gum disease, the latter of which is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults
- Excessive gaps between teeth, allowing for further shifting; the further your teeth shift, the more your bite is altered
- A misaligned bite, which can lead to difficulty chewing and painful jaw problems
- Sunken-in facial features, making you look far older than you actually are
When you replace your missing tooth, it serves as a placeholder for the surrounding natural teeth. Dental implants are particularly effective, as they actually occupy the space left vacant by a tooth root. Even if you opt for a bridge, it will prevent the other teeth from moving. If you or someone you know is dealing with toothlessness, I can help you decide which prosthetic option will work best for you. Whatever we decide, it’s important to act sooner rather than later. Contact my office today to schedule an appointment.