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No One Can See My Missing Tooth — Do I Really Need to Replace It?

January 14, 2021

Filed under: Uncategorized — dr_vanderbrook @ 6:29 pm
Woman with jaw pain, considering dental implants in Lakewood, Dallas

If you lost one of your front teeth, you would probably be quick to think about getting it replaced. After all, a gap in the center of your smile is easy for onlookers to notice. But if one of your back teeth goes missing, you might not be so eager to get it replaced. If you can still chew your food comfortably and no one can see that you lost a tooth, it might not seem logical to spend time and money on getting it replaced. However, there are big reasons why people with missing back teeth should consider replacing them with dental implants in Lakewood. Let’s talk about some of those reasons.

Dental Drift

Your teeth have a natural capacity for movement. When all of your teeth are in place, they prevent one another from drifting out of their proper positions. Unfortunately, when a tooth goes missing, the adjacent teeth may begin to shift. This can lead to a misaligned bite. If you lose a bottom tooth, the tooth that was directly above it could even begin to over-erupt. It might even extend so far out of the gumline that you lose it altogether. A dental implant can serve as a placeholder and prevent dental drift and its related complications.

TMD

“Occlusion” is a word that refers to how your upper and lower teeth fit together, your bite. Harmonious occlusion ensures that your jaw joint and surrounding muscles are exposed to as little stress as possible. Malocclusion, on the other hand, can strain your TMJ (your jaw joint) and lead to TMJ dysfunction (otherwise known as TMD). Even one missing tooth at the back of the mouth increases your risk of malocclusion and TMD. TMD, in turn, may cause you to suffer from chronic jaw pain, frequent headaches, and other unpleasant symptoms. By contributing to a healthy bite, a dental implant can reduce your risk of such issues.

Bone Loss

As soon as you lose a tooth, the bone that once supported it begins to be resorbed. That is to say, your body recycles the raw materials for other purposes. Over time, this process can seriously weaken your jawbone and may even affect your facial aesthetics. A dental implant serves as a prosthetic tooth root. It stimulates the jawbone and helps to keep it healthy, strong, and whole.

Gum Problems

Even if you chew on the side of your mouth that is opposite from your missing tooth, food particles may still collect in the empty space and irritate your gums. An implant helps to protect this sensitive tissue and can spare you from pain.

A missing tooth is a big deal — no matter where it is in your mouth! If you have lost a molar, it is worth your time to schedule an appointment with your dentist to discuss your tooth replacement options.

Meet the Author

Dr. Drew Vanderbrook is a highly trained, highly accomplished dentist in the Lakewood, Dallas area. He partners with local specialists to provide comprehensive dental implant services. To learn more about Dr. Vanderbrook and how our practice may be able to help you replace your lost teeth, contact us at 214-821-5200. 

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