Even the loss of a single tooth can cause long-term consequences that can seriously damage the rest of your teeth. If you’ve lost a tooth to trauma, decay, or another cause, you should consider having it replaced. Dental implants are the best option for tooth replacement, though other options can also help prevent long-term problems.
Why Replace Just One Tooth?
Many people feel that the loss of just one tooth isn’t serious enough to warrant replacement. They think it’s only a cosmetic issue, particularly if the missing tooth is in the back where it isn’t easily visible. However, even one missing tooth can trigger a series of changes in the mouth that can cause major problems in the future.
Some of the problems that occur as a result of a missing tooth include:
- Other teeth shifting out of position
- Abnormal, premature wear and tear
- Spaces between the teeth
- Temporomandibular joint disorder
These problems develop because teeth natural move to fill the empty space left behind by a lost tooth. By moving into the space left behind, teeth shift out of their natural position, causing improper alignment.
Choosing a Tooth Replacement Option
A prosthodontist can help you decide on the best tooth replacement option for you. A prosthodontist is a dentist who specializes in replacing missing teeth. He can determine if you are a good candidate for dental implants, or if traditional dentures, a crown and bridge, or an implant-supported denture would be better. The choice depends upon your personal goals for your appearance as well as whether or not you are likely to heal successfully after a dental implant procedure.
No matter what option proves to be best for you, replacing your missing tooth is one of the best things you can do for your long-term dental health. By filling in the empty spot, you’ll prevent your other teeth from moving out of position. Without the replacement tooth, you could end up with extreme wear, misalignment that requires orthodontic treatment, or even eventual loss of more teeth.
To discuss your personal treatment options, call us at the office of Dr. Lassle today!