Why replace missing teeth?
The most obvious reason to replace teeth is aesthetics. Blank spaces in your smile affect your looks and for many impact their self-confidence.
It’s not just about the unappealing gaps left behind by missing teeth; beneath the surface there is more going on. The bone surrounding teeth’s roots need stimulation to maintain their volume and density. This stimulation normally comes from your teeth in function. Without teeth, the bone loses width, height and volume.
Your teeth and bones supply the support for your face. Loss of their structural support can cause an aged look and can affect your ability to chew and speak.
It can also lead to discomfort in your jaw joints (TMJs) or the muscles of the head and neck. For more information on the subject see TMJ dysfunction.
Together your teeth and jawbones, along with their position in relationship to each other (occlusion) help determine your airway. Your airway is a factor in determining your ability to breathe. If your jaws are over closed you may have more difficulty getting enough air resulting in forward head posture during the day and snoring or even sleep apnea at night.
Finally the gaps left by missing teeth can cause other teeth to shift and tip. This can contribute to the worsening of any periodontal disease that might be present. It can also make the surrounding teeth more difficult to clean, impacting your gum health and the decay rate of teeth. The more teeth that are missing the more each factor are amplified and the more important it is to replace the lost teeth to maintain optimum aesthetics and long term function.
A summary of the reasons to replace missing teeth
- Protecting bone volume and density
- Protecting your facial support
- Can contribute to TMJ dysfunction
- Protect your airway
- Surrounding teeth may shift and tip leading to gingival or periodontal issues
How to replace missing teeth for single teeth
- An implant
- A bridge
- A removable appliance
How to replace missing teeth for multiple teeth
- One or more implants’
- A bridge
- An implant retained bridge
- A removable partial denture with or without additional support
- A removable full denture with or without additional support