If you have a missing tooth that’s not visible when you smile, you may think it’s alright not to replace it. While you can get used to a missing tooth, not replacing it can have serious physical and mental consequences. At Summit Dental Group, our Boise dentists want you to know that replacing a tooth isn’t as difficult as you might think and comes with a wide variety of benefits.
A missing tooth can lead to some long-term health problems. Over time, your remaining teeth will shift towards each other in an attempt to fill the gap. This can lead to a condition known as malocclusion, which causes misaligned teeth.
Malocclusion can cause a wide variety of problems such as an overbite or crossbite that can put a strain on your jaw, cause difficulty chewing, and increase your risk for tooth decay. Treatment for malocclusion is often the need for braces or even surgery, which is a lot more expensive than a single tooth replacement.
Missing teeth also increases your chances of developing tooth decay in your remaining teeth. How? A missing tooth can affect your ability to chew food, causing debris to get stuck in between nearby healthy teeth. Improper chewing can also lead to digestive issues like acid reflux. While you may think you can ignore a missing molar that people can’t see, it’s important to remember that all teeth are essential for proper chewing and digestion.
A missing tooth can also cause bone loss in the jaw, leading to a sagging appearance around your mouth. Why? The bone in your jaw no longer receives support from the root system of a missing tooth, weakening it over time.
Beyond the physical effects of a missing tooth, there are long-term and short-term mental consequences that come along with it. Unfortunately, society often casts a negative light on those with missing teeth. For example, many poor or unintelligent characters in movies are portrayed as those with missing teeth.
These unrealistic perceptions from Hollywood often spill over into reality, especially in the age of social media. Even those with the thickest skin can eventually feel self-conscious about having a missing tooth. As you age, you’ll have to live with this stigma and difficulty eating or speaking for decades.
Replacing a missing tooth isn’t as bad as you may think. In fact, the most common treatment for a missing tooth is a dental implant, which consists of a titanium post covered by a crown.
The dental implant process takes approximately three months from start to finish, which provides your mouth with plenty of time to adjust and heal between treatments. In fact, an implant and temporary crown can be applied on the same day, letting you return to your everyday life while a permanent crown is made.
The end result will look and feel just like your natural teeth. Want more information? Contact the Boise dentists at Summit Dental Group for a consultation. Fill out our online form or give us our downtown office call (208) 314-2275 today. We look forward to restoring your teeth and providing you with a beautiful, healthy smile.