Missing teeth might not seem like a big deal if no one can see the gap when you smile. But missing teeth can cause a chain reaction of oral health problems when left untreated, which is why we offer both dental implants and bridges in our Somerset dental office to restore the function and appearance of your smile.
Missing Teeth – More Than Just Cosmetic
When tooth loss occurs, your smile is at risk for bone loss, malocclusion (bite misalignment), and additional tooth loss. Here’s why:
Resorption – Bone Shrinking
When you lose a tooth, the underlying bone begins to shrink because it is no longer needed. By opting for a dental implant, which replaces the missing root, the bone is stimulated and encouraged to remain strong.
Dental bridges do not protect against bone loss, but they do keep teeth from shifting.
Malocclusion and Moving Teeth
A gap in your smile leaves space for the adjacent and opposing teeth to shift toward the gap in your smile.
Both dental implants and dental bridges act as placeholders that keep your teeth from shifting and protect your bite. A properly aligned bite supports healthy jaw function, prevents uneven wear, and can prevent root exposure, which feels quite sensitive.
Additional Tooth Loss
Root exposure and a bad bite expose teeth to a greater risk of decay and periodontal disease.
The longer you wait to replace a missing tooth, the more clinically complex the procedure can be. As teeth shift toward the gap in your smile, less space is available for a dental bridge or implant restoration, and the bone may have deteriorated to the point that it can no longer support a dental implant, requiring bone grafting.
If you have a missing tooth and would like to learn more about dental implants and bridges in the Somerset area, we welcome you to get in touch to book your next dental appointment.