Missing teeth: why should they be replaced?

Missing teeth: why should they be replaced?

You may think that there’s no time limit for replacing a missing tooth. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. The longer you wait to replace teeth, the more difficult and costly it can be. Your dentist may suggest replacement solutions such as an implant or bridge to prevent some of the complications associated with a missing tooth, and here’s why it’s worth considering.

Over time, the teeth adjacent to the missing tooth naturally begin to move into the empty space to fill it. Shifting teeth can lead to bite misalignment – a change in the way teeth close together – if the space isn’t replaced by a prosthetic tooth. What’s more, when a lower jaw tooth is lost, the tooth directly above it may extrude, in other words move downwards, to fill the opposite space. This makes it more difficult to replace the missing tooth with an implant or bridge, as the space becomes insufficient.

Moreover, when a tooth is lost, the jawbone is no longer stimulated by the force of chewing. As a result, the jawbone tissue in this area eventually begins to resorb, meaning that its density decreases. Bone resorption begins around six months after tooth loss, and can make implant placement at this site more difficult.

Apart from smiling, the main functions of teeth are to chew and grind food, and to allow speech. However, to fully perform these functions, all teeth must be present.

When some teeth are missing, this can affect your ability to eat certain foods. The digestion process begins in the mouth, and when teeth are missing, the swallowed food bolus doesn’t break down sufficiently into smaller particles. This can complicate nutrient absorption and cause stomach problems such as ulcers, constipation or heartburn.

What’s more, the spaces left by missing teeth change the way air circulates during speech, and can therefore alter the way you speak.

Replacing missing teeth is also desirable to improve the aesthetics of your smile. A smile with one or more missing teeth does not have the same visual appeal as a smile with complete dentition. A beautiful smile has been shown to have many social, professional and emotional benefits.

There’s no need to worry about missing teeth, as there are several treatment options available. Replacing missing teeth can prevent dental problems in the future, while preserving essential mouth functions and improving your smile. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Clinique dentaire Beaulieu, Lapointe et associés.


Question or comment

Your email address and your phone will not be published. Required fields are indicated with an asterisk (*).