Every once in a while, we’ll get a call from someone who wants to know what their options are for replacing a lost tooth. We’re always so happy to go through the various solutions we can offer them, because we know they’re making an investment in the health of their smile, and also, their self-confidence.
Losing a tooth as an adult can actually happen for a variety of reasons. It could be the result of injury, tooth decay, or just aging. Sometimes, a patient can only pay for the extraction of a tooth, but has to wait to replace the tooth. We understand that sometimes cost is a barrier, but we try everything we can to make sure you can afford to replace a lost tooth as soon as possible with various financial options and our Inspired Smiles Membership Club.
Anyway, we wanted to talk about why replacing a lost tooth as soon as possible is so important. There are actually a few reasons:
This is the first thing most people think about when they have a missing tooth. Even if it’s in the back, it is often visible in the smile, which can be a huge blow to your self-esteem. It can impact your ability to meet new people or even perform well in a job interview. You deserve a smile you feel confident about sharing with the world!
Shifting and Decay
Because your teeth support each other, when one is missing, the teeth around it start to slowly shift to correct for that gap. This can cause all kinds of problems down the road, like a crooked smile, malformed jaw, bite problems, and jaw pain. It can also cause the facial bones to shift and sag, making you look older than you are, and nobody wants that!
A missing tooth can also lead to an increase in tooth decay in the remaining teeth, since it can be difficult to reach all of the surfaces of them once they shift and start to overlap. Not only does this make brushing and flossing harder, the last thing you want is the potential for even more tooth loss because of an increase in decay and gum disease.
Chewing and Speech
Sure, one lost tooth isn’t going to make it impossible to eat, but it very well could impact your chewing. This could even lead to digestion issues! In addition to that, your other teeth will likely wear down more quickly because they have to work harder to make up for the missing tooth. This could eventually lead to more tooth loss.
As far as speech goes, we all know that certain teeth are vital to the formation of word and letter sounds. For example, a missing front tooth can seriously impact your ability to make the “th” sound (just listen to any five year old with a missing front tooth) but even a missing back tooth can have an impact on speech.
Replacing a Missing Tooth
You have several choices when it comes to replacing a missing tooth. Dental implants, bridges, and partial dentures are all options to consider, based on your specific needs. We can go over each of these procedures with you and help you determine which is the best avenue for you to pursue.
The first thing you should do is book a consultation with us. During COVID-19, we are offering virtual consultations, which you can learn more about here. Otherwise, we are still seeing patients in-person with additional precautions to keep you safe. You can give us a call at 708-398-9294 to set up a time for us to take a look and go over your available options!