Losing a tooth as a young child is totally normal and somewhat exciting. But what happens when you lose a tooth as an adult? You might have lost your tooth from gum disease, injury, or tooth decay. Losing teeth is common and isn’t life-threatening, but you should always have the tooth replaced as soon as possible after losing it.
Why Replace It?
Every tooth in your mouth has a function. When one is missing, it causes stress on surrounding teeth. Your surrounding teeth will be more prone to breaking, cracking, and falling out as well. Additionally, your jaw health can begin to deteriorate if you leave a hole where your tooth once was, causing facial sagging.
Of course, most patients aim for a perfect full smile but, replacing your missing tooth isn’t all about cosmetics. Every tooth you lose results in the loss of 10% of your jaw function. You need full jaw function to chew your favorite foods and avoid the pain that comes with tooth loss, so it is best to replace your tooth as soon as you can.
What are My Options?
There are several options in restorative dentistry for replacing teeth, depending on the tooth’s location, the damage, and the health of your gums and jaw. If you have a healthy jaw and gums and are missing a tooth or several teeth, you are a candidate for dental implants. Dental implants are long-lasting, easy-to-maintain, and look and feel like your original teeth. However, this process isn’t instant and can take several months to complete. To learn more, visit our dental implants page.
Another popular option is a dental bridge. These permanent replacement teeth are inserted into the jaw and are attached to neighboring teeth for support. They give a natural look, similar to dental implants, but they will need to be replaced more often. Dental bridges can not only restore your smile, but they prevent further tooth loss and improve your ability to chew foods.
Lastly, we will talk about dentures. Dentures are either full or partial, and that will depend on the number of natural teeth that you have left. Unlike dental implants and bridges, dentures are removable. While they can help you feel more confident in your smile, they don’t have the same benefits as implants and bridges, such as avoiding bone loss.
You might be pushing replacing your tooth or teeth to the back burner, but remember that acting sooner rather than later can help to prevent further tooth and bone loss and save your remaining teeth. Contact us today for more information about the procedures we offer for tooth replacement.