Do missing teeth in Westminster really need to be replaced?

Do missing teeth in Westminster really need to be replaced?

If you lose a tooth or have to have one extracted, you have a few options. You can get an artificial tooth, you can get an implant, or you can do nothing. If it’s just one tooth, you may think there’s no harm in just leaving a gap, especially if it’s in the back and doesn’t show when you smile. While you can adjust to being without a tooth, it is better for the health of the rest of your teeth to replace missing teeth, even just one.

The harm in having one missing tooth

Your teeth support each other. When one is gone, the teeth on either side of it start to shift into the empty space between them. One missing tooth can eventually lead to crooked teeth, which can affect your bite and your ability to chew properly. As teeth move, they leave gaps that food particles can enter and leave bacteria behind, which can cause tooth decay and gum disease.

The longer you wait, the harder it is to replace a tooth

Teeth are supported by bones in the jaws, and in turn, the teeth support the bones. When a tooth is gone, the bone that supported it no longer serves a purpose, so it begins to deteriorate. A dental implant, the best replacement for a missing tooth, needs bone to support it the same way a natural tooth does. The longer you wait after losing a tooth to get it replaced, the more likely it is that you will not be able to get an implant because you won’t have enough supporting bone left.

Dentures vs. Dental Implants

Dentures can replace all the natural teeth or a group of them, but if you have just one tooth, an artificial tooth would usually be anchored to other teeth by a wire. This is a partial denture. The denture has to be removed to clean it, and it can slip while it’s in your mouth, causing embarrassment or allowing food to get caught between it and your gums.

A dental implant is surgically implanted in your jaw and holds an artificial tooth in place permanently.

Learn more

If you have lost a tooth or have teeth that are at risk of being lost, call for an appointment to discuss the options to replace missing teeth. Filling in the gap will keep your whole mouth healthy.

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About the author

A practicing dentist since 1982, Dr. Gary Imm, provides advanced cosmetic dentistry, including smile makeovers, sedation, implant and TMJ services. He is committed to progressive, extraordinary care for his guests. All Smiles Dental Care trains at least 300 hours each year at such prestigious centers as the Las Vegas Institute of Advanced Dentistry. (LVI)