If you are missing a tooth, there are many ways I can restore your smile. Whether your tooth loss is obvious (like your upperfront teeth) or more subtle (back molars), dental implants, dentures, or bridges are all possible solutions. Despite these options, I still have patients who consider going with the gap. When I discuss treatment options with you, it’s because I have your best interests at heart, and if you tell me that you don’t need to replace a missing tooth, I’ll share this information:
Not Replacing a Tooth Can Make It Difficult To Eat and Speak
Prepare to give up some of your favorite foods, friends. With a gap in your teeth, chewing things like corn on the cob, fresh vegetables, and meats becomes difficult. Your options are to compensate by chewing on the side opposite of the missing tooth - which can lead to further damage - or to resort to a soft food diet.
Additionally, speaking becomes difficult, particularly if the tooth loss is in the front of your mouth. Without all of your front teeth, those syllabant “ess sounds” become “eth thoundth.” If you don’t like the way you sound with a lisp or other speech impediment, you might want to replace that tooth.
Not Replacing a Tooth Can Affect Your Interactions
With a missing tooth, you may find yourself smiling and talking less often. These are both integral to having positive interactions with other humans, both professionally and socially. You need to smile to make yourself and those around you feel good. You need to talk to communicate effectively. Still doubt me? Go to Publix and try not smiling or speaking to anyone you encounter; you’ll find it’s not so easy.
Not Replacing a Tooth Can Result in Bone Loss
As if the other two weren’t bad enough, not replacing a single tooth can destroy the rest of your smile. When a void from missing tooth roots is left in your jaw, the bone starts to deteriorate. Eventually the surrounding teeth begin to shift; since they’re not secure in your deteriorated jaw structure, they are more prone to gum disease and loss. Even with your mouth closed, missing teeth can change the shape of your face, giving it a sunken in appearance (which makes you look older).
If you’ve been putting off tooth replacement because you consider it cosmetic, think again. I’ve given you three good reasons why replacing your tooth is necessary to maintain your quality of life. If you’d like to discuss which options would work best for you, contact my office to schedule an appointment. I look forward to making you smile.