If you’re missing a tooth that isn’t in a spot visible to others, you might decide to forgo getting a replacement. At Southbridge Dental, we highly discourage this for several reasons. Regardless of the location of your missing tooth, it can cause your remaining teeth to shift and affect your alignment. The name of this condition is malocclusion.
Eventually, this can cause a crossbite or overbite that places extra stress on your jaw.
Other Problems Caused by Missing Teeth
Even a single missing tooth can make it more challenging for you to chew your food properly. Unfortunately, this can cause more particles of food to remain in your mouth and turn to bacteria that causes tooth decay. Any of these issues could require a surgical procedure or extensive orthodontic work, both of which cost significantly more than replacing a missing tooth.
Another issue with not completely chewing your food is that it can lead to digestive problems such as chronic heartburn or malnutrition. When you don’t swallow your food all the way, you miss out on essential nutrients because they never make it to your digestive tract.
Bone loss is yet another potential issue that can arise from not replacing a missing tooth. This typically occurs along the jawline, which leads to your mouth taking on a saggy appearance. You may have seen this same look in people who have worn dentures for many years.
Finally, living with a missing tooth can have more of an emotional impact than you might realize. It could make you feel reluctant to smile, even if your missing tooth is towards the back of your mouth. With your smile acting as a warm welcome to others, people could assume you’re just unfriendly when you don’t smile. You could even find your confidence eroding over time.
Replacing a Missing Tooth is a Simple Process
Maybe you have put off scheduling an appointment to learn more about the tooth replacement process because you fear it will be a long and drawn out ordeal. With a dental implant, the most common treatment for a single missing tooth, you would typically need to come in for two appointments.
The dentist from your nearest Southbridge Dentistry practice will place a tiny rod into your jawbone during the first appointment. This replaces the roots of your missing tooth. After allowing several weeks for your jawbone to heal and for the artificial tooth root to fuse with your existing bone, you return for a second appointment for your dentist to place an abutment on the visible part of your jawbone. This is the piece that attaches to the replacement tooth and keeps it in place.
Are you ready to learn more about a single tooth dental implant or other tooth replacement options? Just contact the location nearest you today and request a consultation with an implant dentist.