There are many reasons why someone might be missing their teeth. Regardless of whether a tooth was removed due to excessive decay or it was lost due to an injury, missing teeth are one of the biggest complaints at the dentist office. While getting teeth replaced can greatly boost confidence levels, from the dental standpoint, there are far bigger concerns than just the appearance of the patient’s smile.
In dentistry, the way teeth meet when the lower and upper jaw come together is known as occlusion. Normal occlusion provides desired aesthetics and more importantly, allows oral functions to operate properly. Whenever a tooth is missing, it is common for the tooth that lies above it to begin erupting out of its socket and into the empty space.
Missing teeth can alter the individual’s speech and affect childhood development adversely or professional lives of adults. Missing teeth will also cause the surrounding teeth to drift or tip into the open gap. Problems with your bite can occur, which will make it difficult to close the mouth. If you don’t treat the problem, TMJ can occur. It’s imperative that you understand teeth can move at any point in time. Replacing teeth that are missing is not just something that you have to worry about as a child. It affects adults too.
Not every tooth will require replacement, though. Dentists don’t recommend that you replace a wisdom tooth. In the case of older individuals, a second molar that is lost will not affect the functions in your mouth or require replacement.
Bridges are used to help fill in the gaps caused by missing teeth. Since they need support from the surrounding teeth, the nearby teeth need to be in good overall health. Nothing is more frustrating than paying for dental bridges only to have them fail due to the supporting teeth not being able to handle the extra stress imposed upon them. Schedule an appointment to speak with the dentist about the benefits of dental bridges and what they could do for your mouth, your health and your confidence. Understanding the complexities of dental bridges will go a long way in preserving your dental health.