When faced with missing teeth, some people feel it’s not necessary to replace them, especially if they’ve only lost one or two. However, even one missing tooth can lead to major changes in your mouth and side effects that can be severe. Dental implants can replace even a single missing tooth, preventing these long-term problems.
Problems Associated with Tooth Loss
Your teeth are meant to be aligned in such a way that they can bite and chew without causing excessive stress. When teeth aren’t properly aligned, it can lead to numerous problems like abnormal wear and tear. It can also cause the jaw joint itself to become misaligned—a problem known as temporomandibular joint disorder. This is why so many adolescents undergo orthodontic treatment. Without it, their teeth would remain misaligned, and they would eventually experience serious problems.
Misalignment is a common side effect of tooth loss, also. When teeth are missing, extra space exists in the mouth. The remaining teeth will naturally shift to fill that space, moving them out of their proper position. Once your remaining teeth have moved, you are very likely to experience problems like wear and tear, grinding, and even headaches or earaches.
Replacing Missing Teeth with Implants
The best way to prevent these long-term problems is to replace them as soon as possible. Your periodontist can help determine if dental implants would be a good option for you. Even if you’re only missing one tooth, you can have a dental implant to provide a new tooth. An implant does not require the adjacent teeth to be reshaped, as a crown and bridge does. It is also permanent and stationary, unlike a partial denture.
With dental implants, you can speak, chew, and bite without having to worry about dislodging your replacement teeth. You can also maintain your other teeth in proper alignment, avoiding excessive wear and tear, grinding and clenching, and other symptoms that can develop as a result of misalignment. If you have a missing tooth or teeth, talk to our periodontist as soon as possible to see if implants can help.