Losing a tooth as we get older is common. It could be the result of tooth decay, gum disease, or oral trauma. Unfortunately, all too frequently, people delay or decline to get the tooth replaced. Maybe it’s a back tooth and they decide no one will see the gap so it’s okay. Or maybe it’s even a front tooth, and the concern for the expense of replacing it outweighs the concern because “it’s only a tooth”. The fact is that it is imperative to your oral and overall health to replace all missing teeth.
What Will Happen If I Don’t Replace My Missing Teeth?
Chew On This
If you’re like most people, you chew with your back teeth. A missing tooth in the back of your mouth will alter your bite. That means your remaining teeth have to work harder to compensate for the missing one. That additional stress on your remaining teeth will result in more wear and tear.
You may also experience pain or notice that food is always getting stuck in the gaps between your remaining teeth. Not only can this cause severe discomfort but it can also lead to bad breath.
When a tooth is lost, the remaining teeth begin to move towards the position of the previous tooth. This movement causes crooked or misaligned teeth, a higher risk for infection and gum disease, and the deterioration of the bone in the jaw. You could soon lose so much bone that your remaining teeth will lose support and become damaged.
Even worse? Patients with severe bone loss are not candidates for dental implants. Taking care of a missing tooth as soon as possible can prevent these undesirable outcomes.
Treatment becomes more difficult and expensive later
Think replacing a missing tooth sounds expensive? Then you really want to avoid the bill if you wait to get treatment. Treatment may become essential eventually and will almost certainly be more difficult and expensive as the situation worsens.
For example, if the amount or quality of bone has deteriorated, dental implants either become a more difficult option, requiring a bone graft or, if there isn’t sufficient bone volume to support the dental implant being placed into the space, an impossibility. If there are multiple teeth that require replacing, you may also end up needing more implants than would have been necessary if you had the treatment sooner. All of this will mean that treatment will take longer, be more complicated, and more costly.
What Are My Tooth Replacement Options?
Fortunately, there are many options for replacing missing teeth including dentures, dental bridges, or dental implants. All of these will prevent bone loss, shifting, and infection. Your dentist will work with you to find the right solution for you. Whatever tooth replacement option you decide on, you can feel confident that you are making the right decision for your oral health.
Your association and AMBA have Dental Plans that cover everything from extractions to a variety of replacement solutions. Our Platinum Plan even gives 100% coverage for routine oral exams, routine cleanings, and X-Rays! Learn more or sign up today at www.AMBAdentalvision.com or call 866-979-0497.