Picture This …
I want you to think of the oldest person you’ve known. Maybe they weren’t actually old, but they looked like they were easily approaching 100. Visualize the hollows of their cheeks, the pucker of their lips, and their weak chin. What you’re picturing right now is what can happen when you don’t replace missing teeth (albeit the worst case scenario). Continue reading to find out how you can avoid all of these problems (and more).
I’ve never known a patient to be happy about tooth loss. Whether from gum disease or a required extraction, everyone feels uneasy when it comes to matters that affect appearance. For whatever reason, some patients opt to “go with the gap” and put off (or avoid altogether) tooth replacement. The problem is, even if the missing tooth is near the molars and, therefore, less likely to affect the look of your smile, it can potentially cause big problems.
How It Happens
When all 32 of your teeth are firmly anchored in your jaw bone, they perform multiple functions. They help you speak correctly, allow you to thoroughly chew your food, and provide you with a killer smile. Each type of tooth — incisors, canines, premolars, and molars — serves its own purpose. Each individual tooth keeps the others from moving around. When you have even a single missing tooth, your remaining teeth begin to shift.
What’s the Problem?
Crooked teeth are the least of your concerns in such cases. The real problem is that when your teeth shift, your bite changes. When your bite changes, so does your jaw alignment and your ability to effectively chew food. On top of that, your teeth can shift into positions that become difficult to clean, leading to further decay, disease, and potential tooth loss.
If you are currently missing a tooth or facing a future extraction, the time to start thinking about tooth replacement is NOW! Replacing a missing tooth does not make you vain, it makes you smart. The sooner you replace your missing teeth, the better your chances of avoiding having further complications in the future. If you’re still skeptical, think of the old face you just visualized.
There are several tooth replacement options available, but the first step is to schedule an appointment to talk about which will work best with your lifestyle. Contact my office (sooner rather than later) so we can find a perfect solution and prevent any future complications. I look forward to seeing you.