Missing a tooth can be problematic aesthetically, but most importantly, it can also cause problems when it comes to oral health.
Why is a complete set of teeth necessary?
Teeth are essential in our speech function as they aid in the production of specific phonemes. Certain sounds will be difficult to create with an incomplete set of teeth which can result in an unclear speech.
They are also vital in food consumption especially in chewing. Teeth keep the natural structure of the face by preventing the lips and mouth from sinking in.
If I lost a tooth, how can I replace it?
Fortunately, Dentistry has found ways to replace a missing tooth through various methods including dental implants, dentures, and dental bridge.
- Dental implants are artificial tooth root surgically infused into the jawbone. They serve as a strong foundation for a crown which is placed above the titanium implant.
Dental implants can either be removable or permanent. A removable dental implant is often recommended for people whose gums are not the healthiest or whose jawbone is not the strongest. They are also easier to clean, natural-looking, and can help in speaking and eating just like any other tooth.
But, removable dental implants may not be as sturdy as their permanent counterpart.
It must be noted that an ideal candidate for a dental implant procedure must have a strong jawbone, healthy gum tissue, and good oral health.
On the other hand, permanent dental implants are much-recommended options since they are sturdier than removable dental implants.
- Dentures are the most common remedy when it comes to a missing tooth. A type of dental restoration, dentures are removable and can either be partial or full.
A partial denture restores only a portion of the mouth with missing teeth, while a full denture replaces the whole top or bottom part of the teeth.
- Dental bridges are used to restore one or more teeth which are either implanted into the mouth or are bonded to pre-existing teeth. A dental bridge can be traditional, cantilever, or Maryland-bonded.
Traditional dental bridges are considered the most common type, while cantilever dental bridges are great options for replacing front teeth but not the back teeth. Alternatively, Maryland-bonded dental bridges are more recommended for a single missing tooth.
What happens when a missing tooth is not replaced?
A missing tooth can lead to bone loss in the jaw area as the body may quit maintaining the area where the supporting bone which anchors the tooth is to be more efficient.
When bone is lost, the mouth is put at higher risk of losing more teeth. The face’s shape can also be compromised because when a tooth is missing, other teeth may try to fill in space by shifting and tilting, causing them to weaken.
The risk for gum disease also increases since the area where the tooth once was is now empty. The vacated place can lead to an open socket where all kinds of bacteria can enter the gums. When gum disease happens, it can be problematic to the oral health, as well as, to the overall well-being.