Missing a tooth or several teeth has several obvious drawbacks. The social stigma of missing teeth spans many cultures and produces innumerable negative psychological, economic, and emotional effects on the individual. This being said, missing teeth are far more than just an aesthetic concern.
Complications from Missing Teeth
Letting a missing tooth go untreated will eventually cause further dental complications and additional tooth loss. There are a few reasons for this. The act of chewing stimulates the jawbone structure surrounding your healthy teeth. When a tooth is lost, this surrounding jawbone structure no longer receives the stimulation it requires in order to regenerate itself. This ultimately leads to deterioration of jawbone tissue. With this bone tissue no longer in place, the surrounding teeth will shift to fill in the gap left by the missing tooth.
Filling in this gap will create a domino effect, causing gaps to form between your remaining teeth. In most cases, the teeth adjacent to your missing tooth will also be lost if not treated properly. If this is allowed to continue, undesirable changes in facial contours will become apparent.
For the reasons listed above, it should be clear that a missing tooth should be treated as soon as possible. Your treatment options diminish the longer you put off treatment.
Recent advances in dental implant technology have made implants the treatment of choice for missing teeth. Unlike dentures and dental bridges, dental implants have the advantage of being able to maintain healthy jawbone structure.
Dentures and dental bridges are among the more traditional treatments for missing teeth. We recommend dental implants to most of our patients who qualify. However, if your existing jaw structure cannot support implants, then dental bridges or dentures are most likely your next best option.