Why It’s Important To Replace Missing Teeth

Cartoon of settlers in the old days stating that 50% had missing teeth.
Image by Authority Dental under CC 2.0

Obviously teeth make it easier to chew, but they also play a very important role in overall oral health. Patients don’t always realize that having even one missing tooth can have serious consequences on their smile. Back in the day, these settlers couldn’t do much about their missing teeth. Fortunately, we live in an age where modern dentistry has provided many options for restoring our smiles.

Shifting Teeth

When an adult tooth is knocked out or extracted and not replaced, nearby teeth may begin to shift from their current positions to fill in the gap left behind by the missing tooth. This can change the way that a patient’s smile looks and how they eat. It can also make it difficult to replace the missing tooth, since the gap is now filled by other teeth. When this happens, braces can be required to move the nearby teeth back to where they were so that the missing tooth can be replaced effectively.

Jawbone Deterioration

One of the jobs of a tooth is to keep the patient’s jawbone healthy and strong. When it comes to the human body, there are many things that require patients to “use it or lose it.” Every time you chew and talk, you are putting pressure on your teeth, which exercises the jawbone. When a tooth is missing, the portion of the jawbone directly underneath it is not being stimulated, which can result in bone resorption. In these cases, a bone graft may be necessary if the patient wants to restore their jawbone and have an implant placed.

Changes in Appearance

If you lose one of your front teeth, the cosmetic appearance of your smile will look different. While this doesn’t always bother patients, it can cause others to avoid smiling, laughing, and talking to others. This can have a significant impact on their life. When the jawbone deteriorates as a result of missing teeth, the shape of the patient’s face can also change drastically as well. Usually, their face begins to appear sunken in, which makes the patient appear older.

Replace Missing Teeth in Puyallup, WA

Need to schedule a tooth replacement consultation with a qualified dentist in Puyallup, WA? Our team at Willow Smiles Dentistry would love to help. Whether you are missing one tooth or many, we offer a number of solutions to restore your smile. From dental implants to dental bridges to full and partial dentures, there’s a solution for everyone. Contact us today!

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