A missing tooth is unattractive. While one missing tooth is a big problem, several missing teeth are a major complication for your overall oral health. There are two common solutions that can replace a hole in your smile, like a dental bridge or, for entire arches of missing teeth, dentures. However, dental implants are one of the most popular tooth-replacement options because they are secure, natural-looking, comfortable, and permanent. Choose to live with a hole in your smile instead? You could regret it.
1. Your face could change shape.
This won’t happen immediately but, over time, the area where a permanent tooth once resided will eventually lead to cosmetic issues. You face could take on a hollow look or your skin might sag – both side effects of missing teeth. The jawbone needs all your teeth to be properly stimulated to support your cheeks. Dental implants counteract the potentially sunken-in appearance by enhancing facial tissues and, because they are so powerful, dental implants could even give you a more youthful appearance.
2. The rest of your teeth could suffer.
Even if the tooth you have lost or had extracted is a second or third molar, its absence is a problem. You may think that a missing molar is not a big deal because it isn’t terribly noticeable. However, a missing tooth puts the rest of your teeth in jeopardy. Teeth are strong and powerful, and the amount of pressure your teeth put on each other is intended to be evenly dispersed. A missing tooth impacts the functionality of your entire mouth and, even though a tooth is no longer there, it could cause you pain because of how the rest of your teeth are affected.
3. Your teeth may shift.
Depending on the location of your missing tooth, the remaining teeth that surround the space in your smile will eventually shift to make up for the absent tooth. If the tooth you have lost is because of gum disease, nearby teeth could also be lost. A dental implant not only replaces a tooth from root to crown, it stimulates the jawbone, makes the adjacent teeth stronger, and minimizes the risk of developing greater oral health problems.
4. It could be difficult to eat.
If you have been dragging your feet about replacing the gap in your smile because you don’t want to live with the unpredictability of dentures, it’s important to know that you can replace missing teeth with something other than adhesives. Dental implants don’t get in the way of eating and speaking, they improve these actions. Dental implants are permanent and secure – they aren’t going anywhere, which means you can chew your food thoroughly and enjoy the chewy and crunchy foods you have probably been missing.
5. You are self-conscious about your appearance.
Admit it, your self-esteem has taken a hit because of your missing teeth. Your smile is essential to so many elements of your life. Your teeth are part of someone’s first impression of you. Your teeth reflect your investment in your oral health and overall health. Having a complete smile makes you feel better about yourself and makes you more likely to smile or speak up when it’s most important.
If you have strong bone density in your jaws but you are missing teeth, you may just be an ideal candidate for dental implants. Schedule your consultation with Dr. Michael J. Wei, Manhattan dental implant dentist, to find out what restorative dentistry solutions will work for your oral health needs.