If you’re missing a back tooth, you might be the only one who knows. After all, it doesn’t show when you talk or smile. Since no one else can even tell the difference, why should you bother replacing it? It may not seem to matter at first glance. However, missing teeth can lead to a string of health problems down the road. Replacing them now can save you a lot of trouble in the future. One of the most viable solutions is dental implants.
What Happens If You Don’t Replace Missing Teeth?
Not replacing back teeth can lead to a variety of consequences, such as:
- Less efficient chewing. Your molars are designed to chew. With fewer of them to do the job, eating can be a bit of a hassle. It might be harder to eat some of your favorite foods.
- Shifting of adjacent teeth. Teeth normally shift slightly as you age but being surrounded by other teeth often helps keep them in place. However, when you have gaps due to missing teeth, the remaining teeth shift at an accelerated rate. Shifting too much can eventually lead to decay and gum disease.
- More wear and tear on remaining teeth. If you’re missing a back tooth on the right side of your mouth, for example, you’ll tend to chew with your left, and vice versa. We are meant to chew evenly on both sides of the mouth. The uneven distribution of chewing can result in more decay on the side doing more chewing.
- Lack of stimulation of jawbone. The root of your tooth is attached to your jawbone and stimulates it through chewing and biting. When you no longer have a tooth to stimulate that area of the jawbone, the bone can deteriorate, giving your face an older, more sunken appearance. Missing a back tooth finally becomes an aesthetic issue!
- Gums become easily irritated. Trying to chew in the space where your tooth once was can make that area more sensitive. Food can also get trapped in there, making you more susceptible to gum disease, which can damage your surrounding teeth and even the bone beneath it.
How Can Dental Implants Help?
Now that you know how important it is to replace missing molars, it’s time to think about how to solve that problem. A dental implant is the best option for a few reasons:
- Comfort. Implants fuse to your jawbone and become part of you. Because of this, they will feel as normal as your natural teeth.
- Easy eating. You will be able to eat as easily as you did with your natural teeth. You won’t have to take them out before eating as you would with another option such as dentures.
- Convenience. Once your implants are in, you just have to take care of it like you would any other tooth with regular brushing, flossing, and dental checkups. This is an advantage over bridges, which can make it difficult to thread floss under the false tooth, and dentures, which you must frequently remove.
If you’re missing teeth, even teeth you can’t see, it can adversely affect your oral health. To stop these problems from happening, contact your implant dentist today!
About the Author
Dr. Raj Vekariya attended dental school in India before moving to America and obtaining his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree at New York University. At Center One Dental in Canonsburg, PA, Dr. Raj’s favorite topic is cosmetic dentistry. He is always happy to help a patient regain confidence in their smile, offering his expertise in dental implants. To get started on replacing missing teeth and rebuilding your smile, contact him here or call (724)-300-3700.