Many people with missing or damaged teeth are often unsure about their replacement options. Sometimes people put off tooth replacement, not realizing that leaving a vacant space in their jaw may cause additional dental problems in the future.
What can happen if missing teeth are not replaced?
It’s important to address issues with both the front and back teeth for the following reasons:
- Missing front teeth can impact one’s smile, leading to loss of self-confidence, anxiety in social situations, and possible negative impacts on one’s job and employment opportunities.
- Loss of the joy of eating
- Change in healthy diet and digestive problems
- Changes in facial appearance – even though the back teeth aren’t visible with smiling, without them it is possible to experience a loss of facial height which leads to a shrunken, shortened and more aged facial appearance.
- Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Pain – if the jaw has to function differently with missing teeth it can put additional strain on the joint potentially leading to chronic pain.
- Movement of adjacent teeth – teeth adjacent to a space may often “tilt” into that space eventually becoming compromised and leading to loss of more teeth.
- Excessive and/or uneven wear of remaining healthy teeth.
- Loss of surrounding jaw bone – when teeth or implants are not in place the bone atrophies.
Tooth Replacement Options
For replacement of a single tooth or a few teeth, generally there are three options: partial dentures, bridges, and dental implants. Each option has it’s positives and negatives in regards to the health of the jaw and neighboring teeth, time, and cost.
Drs. Dan Martin and Rachel Appelblatt at Tahoe Oral Surgery and Implant Center are your local dental implant and oral surgery specialists. They are experienced and board certified oral surgeons who specialize in customer care using state-of-the art equipment and techniques. If you have any questions or concerns about oral surgery or dental implants, please don’t hesitate to contact them.