Sometimes, even with the best dental care possible, we lose one of our teeth. If it is a front tooth, it will probably be a high priority to replace. But if the tooth that’s missing is one that’s not too noticeable, why bother rushing to replace it? Let’s take a look at the reasons why prompt replacement with a dental implant is a good idea, regardless which tooth is involved.
Dental implants look like natural, real teeth, but that is not the only aesthetic reason to replace a missing or failing tooth. Without some type of replacement, a missing tooth will eventually affect the structure of our jawbones and change our facial appearance. When there is no tooth or structure within the jawbone, naturally, the bone has no functional use anymore and will resorb away. The result can be seen in elderly folks that don’t replace missing teeth by having the look of sunken cheeks. Cheeks, lips, profiles—all are impacted by the changes in our bones resulting from tooth loss.
A Better Feeling Bite
When a space is left by a missing tooth, the teeth around it will shift positions, and affect the pattern of our bite. It’s important to understand that when a tooth is missing, that one missing tooth is not the only issue in your mouth for months and years to come. That missing tooth will actually alter the position of your other teeth, causing a disruption in your bite pattern, leading to premature wearing of your tooth enamel on other teeth. And, without a tooth to keep it in place, a tooth above or below the missing one might begin to grow longer to fill the void in your bite. This lengthening, in turn, can cause even more bite problems.
With the loss of a single tooth, there is a large negative impact on the other teeth inside your mouth. Increased pressure is then placed on other teeth in order to chew properly. Your bite will need to transfer much of the biting force to your front teeth, which are not meant for grinding down food. This leads to food not being chewed as thoroughly as it should be, or could lead to increased wear to the enamel on those front teeth. Issues like these are not good for the health of your teeth but are also not healthy for your digestion!
Don’t Delay Care
Most changes in your bite and chewing likely won’t happen overnight, so is putting off the process really a big deal? It can absolutely be! Time is of the essence when a tooth is lost. The jawbone, which is critical in supporting our teeth, needs the stimulation of biting and chewing in order to remain healthy. Without constant stimulation, bone under the missing tooth will gradually shrink. If there is not enough bone area left, you may need surgical bone grafting to achieve the right bone height to hold an implant in the future, or it could lead to the impossibility of placing an implant at all.
What’s the Expense
Replacing a lost tooth quickly requires less restoration of the gums and bone in the future and prevents other serious problems from developing. When comparing the price of a dental implant vs a bridge or other tooth replacement option, you must consider the long-term cost. Although a dental implant can be more expensive upfront, if taken care of properly, a dental implant can last you your entire life. A bridge may come cheaper up front but oftentimes crack or require adjusting over time, which would ultimately wind up costing more over your lifetime.
We have an incredible team here that can help assist you through the entire tooth replacement process. We have very flexible hours and are in network with most major insurance providers. Give our office a call or send us an inquiry with any questions you might have about replacing your missing teeth with dental implants in Alexandria, VA!