Whether it is a tooth extraction as the result of oral health conditions or an untimely accident, having a missing tooth yields nothing but negative consequences. Granted, if the missing tooth is a molar you can not see it in your smile. But the neighboring teeth will still shift into the gap left and will affect your bite pattern, your chewing and bone loss that you cannot see.
The Value of Your Smile
If the missing tooth is visible with your smile it will change your personality. It has been proven that a perceived healthy smile is foundational to your personality. It has a direct affect on your self-esteem and your self-confidence. This radiates through your personal encounters, your social circles, and your professional engagements. If you have a tooth missing schedule an appointment with your family dentist for an evaluation and a solution that fits your needs.
The Replacement Options for a Missing Tooth
- A Temporary Denture-Affectionately called a flipper, this is a temporary solution to possibly allow the site to heal before you proceed with a dental bridge or a dental implant. The neighboring teeth are not altered to support a flipper.
- A Removable Partial Denture-Usually the solution when you lose more than one tooth. This is an economical solution since no prep work is necessary on the neighboring teeth. They can move slightly when speaking or eating and occasionally can be uncomfortable.
- A Dental Bridge- A permanent restoration, the bridge is a solution that uses the neighboring teeth as anchors, or abutments, to suspend an artificial crown in the space left vacant. Traditionally a quite common replacement option.
- A Dental Implant- The new gold standard in teeth replacement, an implant is a titanium post that is drilled into your jawbone. Once it has fused or grown to the bone it acts like your natural tooth. A ceramic or porcelain crown is placed on an extension of the post and not only delivers real pressure sensations through chewing and biting but gives you the stability and security of placement as well as temperature change sensations. A dental implant also has the longest life expectancy as well as helping to maintain the integrity of the jawbone density.
- Do Nothing-Yes, this is an option, one of course we do not recommend. The neighboring teeth will shift, you will experience bone loss and even decay around the existing teeth. There is nothing to be gained by not replacing the missing tooth.
The Benefits of Replacing a Missing Tooth
Once you have had the tooth replaced you will immediately be leading with your smile again instead of hiding it with an awkward grin. There are ongoing health concerns that you will prevent by being proactive with your replacement, but the biggest benefit will be you addressing your quality of life and doing what is best for you. Enjoy that smile! Even with a replacement tooth you need to be diligent about maintaining your good oral hygiene practices at home. This means brushing twice a day, flossing once, and visiting your family dentist twice a year for consistent, preventative evaluations.
More on Fixing Teeth : Fix Broken Teeth