Why it usually makes good sense to replace a lost tooth, visible or not
Nobody likes to lose an adult tooth. When we lose our baby teeth we know that there are more still to come through, but this isn’t the case with adult teeth of course. Once we lose one, all that will be left is the space where the tooth once was. Whether this happens because of neglect or because it was accidentally knocked out, still has the same end result and leaves us with the dilemma of what, if anything, we should do about it.
When it comes to a missing front tooth, the vast majority of people will want to replace it. A smile that reveals a big gap in our teeth isn’t the most attractive look, to say the least. Quite a few patients at our local dental clinic though, have asked us whether they need to replace a missing tooth that is less visible or not. To this, our answer is that you should, and there are a number of reasons for this which we will now explain.
As we mentioned above, a missing tooth can obviously affect your smile if it is a front tooth, but can one at the side, for example, make any difference to your appearance? Well, yes it can, and especially if you have lost a few teeth there. Without the teeth to support the cheeks, it can lead to a ‘sunken’ appearance of your cheeks. This can, in turn, make you look a lot older than you actually are. There is also the additional contribution to this from loss of bone in that area. We will come to that shortly.
When a tooth, or a number of teeth, are lost, we inevitably shift the load onto other teeth when we chew our food. Not only can this lead to additional stress on these teeth but they may also be having to do work that they are not designed for. All of our teeth have different roles. Essentially, our front teeth are for tearing off food, our side teeth for breaking it down into smaller pieces and finally, our rear teeth for chewing it until it is suitable for swallowing. Problems arise when, for example, we use our front teeth for the role that our rear teeth are better for. The front teeth are not really designed for this purpose and could wear down, or even break, much faster.