Updated: Apr 7, 2020
Missing teeth can cause a variety of problems, even those that are in the back of the mouth. A space at the back of the mouth may not be visible, initially, but can cause the chewing forces to shift and cause the front teeth to flare out, creating spaces between them.
A changed bite can also cause the collapse of facial features. The more teeth that are lost and not replaced, the greater the odds that wrinkles and lines will form, causing premature aging. Only if the missing tooth is the last molar should it go unreplaced, and even so, that is only after weighing up the loss of chewing surface action, which can lead to loss of nutrition if adequate nutrients cannot be obtained from foods due to inefficient chewing and digestion.
If you are missing one or more teeth, you have four options for making your smile complete:
§ fixed bridge
§ removable bridge or denture
§ complete denture
Each can be successful, depending on your circumstances.
Generally speaking, if you are missing a tooth or teeth, and if you are healthy with sufficient bone, dental implants are most often the best choice.
However, a fixed bridge may be a good alternative if you:
§ Have financial or health reasons that prevent you from getting implants
§ Have crowns on adjacent teeth to serve as anchor (or are due to have crowns)
It is important to remember that the teeth bring replaced and used to support the bridge will be joined. This means that you will no longer be able to floss through the contacts between the teeth. Instead, you will need a floss threader, which will allow you to floss under the missing tooth or teeth as well as between the teeth.
Plaque accumulation on bridges or implants can cause inflammation of the gums and eventually loss of bone surrounding the teeth.
If you have a missing tooth or teeth or would like to know more about replacement options, give us a call and we will be happy to help you.