When to replace missing teeth

Do you find yourself wondering when a good time to replace missing teeth might be? Not quite sure if you should get them replaced at all?

Our staff at Dental @ the Met may be able to assess your particular needs on an individual basis. However in the meantime read below as we answer the most common questions in regards to replacing missing teeth.

1) Do you need the tooth to be replaced?

In some situations, the loss of a tooth does not have a huge effect on function or appearance. This is particularly true for the posterior teeth.

Often times, missing a wisdom tooth or a second molar is okay from both a functional and an aesthetic perspective. For other teeth, it does depend.

First off – how do you feel about the missing tooth/teeth? Do you feel it negatively affects your appearance and smile? Is the space causing concerns with eating food?

2) What about potential future problems?

In many cases, having a space in the mouth can have some long term effects. Are you okay with these potential situations occurring?

Teeth rarely drift backwards, this means that if you lose a posterior tooth, it isn’t likely that gaps will open up in the front of your mouth. However – back teeth often do drift forwards. This can result in tipped back teeth, which may affect your ability to chew over time.

Additionally, opposing teeth (on the opposite arch) may over-erupt. This means that they may grow out until they hit the gums in the empty space.

Another possibility involves the bone. Usually when a tooth is no longer present, the bone shrinks. This may make any other treatments, such as dental implants difficult to place requiring more procedures and cost.

3) Would you like to replace your tooth with an implant or implants?

If so, it’s usually best to place the implant(s) soon after the tooth or teeth are removed.

These questions are a great starting point to see what, if any, treatment you’ll want to explore if you happen to lose a tooth. Make sure you contact our friendly staff here at Dental at the Met and we will be happy to help your find the solution best suited to your needs!

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