So, you’ve had to remove a badly infected and broken-down tooth. Tooth extraction is the last resort solution when gum disease or tooth decay is too severe. Dentists only remove teeth when it is necessary for your oral health.
The next thing that goes through almost everyone’s mind tends to be:
- “How could I get this tooth replaced?”
- “Do I really need to replace this gap?”
- ”What options do I have if I want to get a new tooth put back in?”
These are valid concerns, as missing teeth can affect several functions of the mouth, such as (1) eating, (2) speaking, or (3) your looks and appearance. Well, the good news is that it’s possible to replace a tooth. With today’s technology, there are multiple methods for teeth replacement depending on your needs and preferences.
When you remove a tooth, you may experience pain and discomfort for a few days. The sudden empty space left behind will be very obvious, and it may take you a while to get used to it. Aside from these immediate effects, there may be several longterm effects as well.
How do missing teeth affect eating?
If you have removed a back tooth, you may notice it is missing when you are gradually able to chew again. The feeling is more obvious if the tooth was in a more “functional” area of the mouth compared to a more distant site (for example, a premolar tooth which is in the centre of your mouth vs a wisdom tooth which is much further behind).
This obvious lack of “function” (ie. ability to eat & chew comfortably as you once did) forces some people to switch to the other side at times so that they may continue enjoying their food properly.
If you’re missing only one tooth, the effects on your day-to-day chewing might be temporary and you may adapt very well to chewing with a space. However, it is different when several teeth are lost. Having several gaps in the mouth can impact chewing more significantly, making tooth replacement a greater necessity.
Will missing teeth affect my appearance?
The most obvious would be losing a front tooth. That’s because it is visible when you smile or speak. This can lead to emotional effects as well; people tend to feel less confident and become more self-conscious about their teeth and smile when they have lost a tooth.
The problem is compounded when one has multiple missing teeth. After all, teeth provide valuable support for the structure of your lips, cheeks, and face. When multiple teeth are missing, there is less structural support, causing those areas to sag. This is why missing teeth can sometimes make one appear older than they actually are.
What is the best option for missing teeth?
So all of this leads to… do I really need that tooth replaced? And if so, what option suits my situation the best? Should I leave the gap open? Perhaps have a porcelain tooth-bridge done or even invest in a state-of-the-art titanium dental implant?
This when the opinion of a trusted dental healthcare professional comes in. As every individual is unique, so is every replacement situation. An experienced dental professional would be able to give you the pros & cons of the options available and help you make an informed choice as to what suits you best. You can read an overview of the different types of tooth replacement options here, and book an appointment for a personal consultation today