The Consequences Of Leaving Gaps In Your Teeth

Why our Woking dentists believe you should always choose a tooth replacement treatment

Two dental implantsPerhaps as we enter our final years, we may not be too concerned about missing teeth, either from an aesthetic or general viewpoint. Even in our 70s and beyond though, many of us now live an active life, socialising with others. If we lose our teeth even earlier, this is particularly an issue as missing teeth can also have an ageing effect on our facial appearance.

With the wide range of modern techniques available at Synergy Parkside to replace any teeth that have been lost, we take a look at the reasons why leaving a gap in your teeth isn’t a good idea and how we can help you resolve this.

Front teeth vs rear teeth

You may think that there is a difference between losing a front tooth and a rear one. In some ways this is true. The loss of one or more teeth at the front of the mouth affects the way that we look in a quite obvious manner. It is very likely that nearly all of us will look at the various available tooth replacement options if we lose a front tooth.

If we lose a rear tooth though, it can be very tempting to just ignore it. Sure, it might be a bit inconvenient but it isn’t a major issue surely? The fact is though, that any tooth loss, wherever it occurs in the mouth, can have an ongoing impact on the rest of our teeth.

Bone loss and tooth drift

We tend to think of the loss of a tooth as affecting the tooth alone. Unfortunately, when we lose a tooth, it also has an impact on the underlying jawbone. The role once performed by this, in securing the tooth in place, is no longer necessary and our body will then start to reabsorb the minerals that make up the bone in this area for use elsewhere in the body.

This loss of bone can have two effects. Firstly, and especially where several teeth are lost, it can cause a ‘sunken’ appearance of the face in that area. This can make us appear older than our years. It also means that it becomes easier for the teeth around the gap to start to ‘drift’ into the space vacated by the tooth.  As one tooth moves, it also leaves a space for others to encroach into. Over time, it is quite possible that our teeth will start to become uneven and crooked.

Additional strain and wear

Another issue when we lose a tooth is that we can transfer its role onto other teeth. If we lose a couple of rear teeth, for example, their prime role is in the grinding and breaking down of food. As they are no longer available for this we are likely to use other teeth that are not designed for this purpose. This can easily lead to premature wearing or even breakage of these teeth.

Replacement options

Your popular Woking dentist has a number of options available for replacing missing teeth. All have their pros and cons and we recommend that you see one of our dentists to discuss your situation and find the one most suitable and appropriate for you.

Dentures

For many years, this was the only tooth replacement method available. It’s history dates back a very long time with early rudimentary dentures using pieces of bone or sea shell to replace the missing teeth. This was likely to have been for aesthetic purposes only. Modern dentures are more effective and practical and usually offer a ‘no treatment’ way of replacing missing teeth.

Not everyone finds this a satisfactory method though and some wearers find them uncomfortable and sometimes unstable when eating and speaking. They are the cheapest option available.

Bridges

A bridge consists of a replacement tooth, or teeth, that are secured in place by crowns fixed to either side of it. This does provide a more secure solution but also means that potentially healthy teeth have to be prepared and shaped so that the crowns can be fitted. This may be a deterrent to some people.

Dental implants

The ‘gold standard’ of tooth replacement options. Unlike the previous two solutions, dental implants also replace the lost tooth root as well as the visible crown part. This has two significant advantages. Firstly, the root will hold the implant firmly in place, making eating much easier and ensuring an extremely strong and stable replacement tooth. Secondly, it prevents bone loss in that part of the jaw, with all the potential problems that can arise from that.

Providing that you look after your implants as instructed, you should expect many trouble free years from them.

If you have lost a tooth or a number of teeth, we recommend that you have these replaced. To find out more about the options above, please arrange to have an initial consultation with one of our Woking dental team. You can book your appointment by calling Synergy Parkside on 01483 766355. We look forward to seeing you!

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