Missing teeth aren’t just a cosmetic problem. They can pose oral health risks, and they can adversely affect your lifestyle in numerous ways. Let’s discuss 5 reasons it’s important to replace missing teeth:
1. Restore Your Self-Confidence
Perhaps missing teeth are making you feel self-conscious about smiling. Maybe missing teeth have negatively affected your life experience in other ways, too. It’s likely a whole lot more challenging for you to chew your food, kiss your significant other, and perhaps even speak correctly if you have missing teeth. Replacing the lost teeth can do wonders to resolve all of these issues.
2. Prevent Opposing Teeth from Over Errupting
Healthy teeth are each in contact with the teeth above or below them. When a tooth is missing, the tooth directly above or below it will lose this contact with the tooth it is supposed to align with in the opposite arch.
It’s important to restore this contact with the opposing teeth. This is because the loss of this contact can result in extruded teeth, which means the teeth can come loose in their sockets. That condition is bad enough on its own, but it can lead to even worse problems over time including decay and others issues.
3. Avoid Shifting Teeth
A missing tooth initially leaves a gap in your mouth. This can cause a change in the pressure your other teeth experience when you chew your food. It is possible that the other teeth in your mouth may start shifting positions, perhaps even moving or tilting into the gap.
4. Prevent Bone Loss
Each tooth in your mouth plays an important role in preventing the erosion of your jawbone. Missing teeth can result in a shrinking jawbone and bone loss. The bone becomes vulnerable to faster deterioration when a tooth that was supposed to be there is no longer present.
5. Reduce Risk of Gum Disease
Missing teeth can create sensitive areas in the mouth that are painful to brush, floss and take care of. Shifting teeth also have a way of creating small, hard-to-access regions in the mouth that may not be easy to floss and brush. It is not uncommon for plaque to accumulate unnoticed in these inaccessible areas. When it’s challenging to properly maintain your oral hygiene, the risk of gum disease increases.
Obviously, these are all things you want to avoid. These unwanted results can often be prevented if you’re proactive about choosing and implementing a solution. Some possible solutions to missing teeth include dental implants, dentures, or crowns and bridges.
Implants offer numerous advantages over the other solutions and are a popular treatment with our patients. Once the dental implants have been placed in your mouth, it’s hard to tell them apart from your natural teeth. They don’t require reduction of the adjacent teeth, which can be an issue if you opt for a bridge instead. Many people would agree that dental implants are a far more elegant solution than dentures, as there’s no need to remove or soak them. Cleaning them is as simple as brushing and flossing your other teeth and returning to the dentist for regular check-ups and cleaning.
If you’re a non-smoker, you don’t have gum disease and you aren’t diabetic, implants may be the right solution for replacing your missing teeth.
If dental implants have a downside, it’s their cost– although the consensus among our patients is that the expense is more than worth it. In some cases, dental implants might be covered by private health insurance policies. If you already have private health insurance, check the cover details section of your policy to see if this is a procedure that your health fund will allow you to claim benefits for.
Dentures have also worked out well as tooth replacements for many of our patients. They’re ideal for instances where you have multiple missing teeth.
Bridges are yet another option for replacing missing teeth. There are multiple approaches to customising bridges, some of which involve anchoring the bridge to adjacent teeth. It is also possible to combine a bridge with crowns and / or implants. Bridges are highly functional, allowing you to chew normally. They look quite like natural teeth.
Most health insurance providers consider bridges and crowns to be major dental work. If these procedures are covered under your health insurance policy.
If you aren’t sure which of these solutions would be best for your teeth, do book an appointment with us. We’ll be happy to evaluate your teeth and advise you on which of these solutions could be appropriate for your circumstances.
You’ll feel much less self-conscious about smiling, chewing, kissing or speaking once you’ve replaced your missing teeth. If you miss being able to do these things with confidence, you’ll definitely want to consider your options for effective tooth replacement.