So many people have experienced it: a slippery step or a baseball catch gone wrong, and BAM! Next thing you know you’re missing a tooth! It’s scary and painful, and for some, stressful as you try to figure out what to do next. While missing teeth can feel like an embarrassing eyesore, more importantly, it’s essential to replace missing teeth to keep your mouth healthy.
If you’ve lost a tooth, it’s important to discuss your options with a dentist you trust. At Cashmere Family Dentistry, Dr. Janie, Dr. Ryan, and Dr. Danielle are all experts at caring for your cosmetic and essential dental needs such as teeth replacement.
They have a few recommendations for anyone who is trying to decide what to do after tooth loss.
What Happens When You Don’t Replace a Tooth?
Waiting to replace a missing tooth can have a number of negative impacts on your health, aside from cosmetic concerns. Let’s explore some of those below.
Impact On Your Remaining Teeth
Teeth are designed to work together to provide support for each other and your jaw when talking, chewing and more. When a tooth is missing, the remaining teeth will often shift or move in order to compensate for the missing neighbor. With the structural integrity at risk, a number of health concerns can follow like gum disease, tooth decay, or malocclusion (improper bite).
Mandibular Disorders (like TMJ!)
Teeth are responsible for stimulating jaw muscles, and when they are missing, it can result in muscle deterioration. This deterioration and atrophy of the facial muscles can cause mandibular disorders like TMJ, with jaw clicking or lockjaw. Replacing missing teeth is essential to prevent this painful jaw disorder!
Unanticipated Cosmetic Consequences
As mentioned above, you might feel self-conscious about your appearance after missing a tooth. But there are other consequences that aren’t as obvious. Because your teeth and jaw muscles are so connected, losing a tooth can atrophy your jawline, impacting your facial profile.
What Should You Replace a Tooth With?
The good news is that Cashmere Family Dentistry is available to help you find the right tooth replacement solution that suits your needs! When you book an appointment at either the Cashmere or Wenatchee locations, Dr. Janie, Dr. Ryan, or Dr. Danielle will be happy to talk you through your best options.
Depending on how many teeth are missing, there are a few common options:
When replacing a few teeth at a time, a dental bridge uses artificial teeth to fill the gap. Bridges attach to the remaining teeth. Depending on the case, bridges can be fixed–permanently attached–or removable.
When total tooth loss is necessary, dentures are a great option. Dentures are replacement teeth made from strong but lightweight acrylic resin. Traditionally removable, some newer denture options are permanent.
Unique to the other options, implants imitate the structure of real teeth and are connected to the jawbone to stimulate the muscles and avoid atrophy. They often look and feel just like your old teeth!
Ready to learn more about how Cashmere Family Dentistry can fill in for your missing tooth?
Request an appointment at the Cashmere office!