You’re missing a tooth in the back of your mouth, outside your smile zone, and you’re not all that concerned about finding a replacement. If you’re considering not replacing a missing tooth (or teeth), we want you to reconsider your decision.
Here at Baton Rouge Perio, our team, which is headed up by Dr. Kenneth Markle and Dr. Jenny Herman, understands all too well the perils of not replacing missing teeth, and we want to review some of them here.
So, here are three reasons why replacing missing teeth makes great sense.
Our biggest concern when you lose a tooth is subsequent bone loss in your jaw. The loss of your tooth includes the roots that go down into the portion of your jawbone called the alveolar ridge.
Under normal circumstances, the bone in this area remodels itself continually to support your tooth sockets. When a tooth comes out, however, your body registers the inactivity in the socket and ceases to rebuild bone in that area.
This process happens very quickly — you lose 30% of the alveolar bone width within 12 weeks and about 50% after a year. And this bone loss can continue and threaten the stability of neighboring teeth.
If you replace a missing tooth with a dental implant, we can prevent much of this bone loss, as we place a metal post into your jawbone that mimics your natural tooth roots.
When you lose a tooth, or several, it can throw off the balance in your mouth, which can lead to a cascading effect. For example, a missing tooth can alter your bite or lead to a misalignment, which can then lead to problems in your temporomandibular joints.
Or, teeth on either side of the gap can start to shift since there’s newly open space next to them, which can lead to uneven wear in your teeth.
What we’re getting at is that one tooth may not seem like a big deal, but your mouth functions best when you have full arches of teeth that support each other.
Lastly, your teeth are designed to facilitate some very important functions such as chewing and talking. We’re also going to add smiling into this mix, because you shouldn’t underestimate the value of smiling with confidence, which is a great way to communicate with the world.
To keep these functions all running smoothly, it’s important that you replace missing teeth so there are no bumps in the road when it comes to eating and talking. And the cherry on top is that your replacement tooth will encourage you to keep flashing that great grin.
If you’d like to explore your options for replacing a missing tooth, please contact our office in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to schedule an appointment today.