Lost A Tooth? Here's Why It's Important To Replace It Soon

Posted on: 10 February 2016

If you've lost a tooth or had to have one pulled, it's important to have it replaced – and soon. Here's a look at why prompt replacement is so important, and what your options include.

Why must you replace a tooth quickly?

The roots of your tooth nestle within your jaw bone. Their presence stimulates blood flow to the jaw bone, essentially keeping that bone alive. When the tooth is removed and there is no nerve to stimulate the bone, the bone tends to break down and dissolve over time. This can lead to a sunken-in look in your face, as the gap left by your missing tooth deepens and cheek tissue begins "sinking in" to the hole.

Once your jaw bone has eroded, replacing the tooth will also be a lot harder, since strong, substantial bone is needed to anchor a dental implant. If you wait too long to replace the tooth, implants may not be an option. Or, you may need a bone graft procedure before you're able to get an implant.

When you don't replace a tooth promptly, the teeth next to the missing tooth can also begin to migrate into the empty space. This can lead to a "crooked smile" and also promote decay in those shifting teeth.

What are your replacement options?

Dental implants are considered the premier option for tooth replacement since they prevent jaw bone erosion and perform just like natural teeth. Implants consist of a metal post that is inserted into your jaw where your tooth root used to be, plus a false crown that looks like the top of a natural tooth. Most people who are in generally good health are candidates for implants, but if you have an immune condition that puts you at risk of infection or slow healing, your dentist may recommend against implants.

A bridge is a replacement option that may be recommended if your dentist does not feel you'll heal well from an implant procedure. A bridge replaces only the above-gum portion of your tooth. It anchors to the teeth on either side of the missing tooth. A bridge won't stop the erosion of the bone beneath the missing tooth, but it will prevent the teeth on either side of the missing tooth from shifting.

If you're missing a tooth, it's best to talk to your general dentist about replacement options as soon as possible. Whether you opt for an implant or a bridge, replacing the missing tooth will help keep the rest of your smile in good shape.


Stopping Tooth Decay Before It Ruins Lives

After a numerous visits to the dentist to fix my cavities, I am proud to say that I'm officially tooth decay free. I used to be a slacker when it came to brushing and flossing my teeth. But after almost losing my teeth to bad cavities and a major gum disease scare, I changed my oral hygiene habits for good. I now feel better about my appearance because I pay more attention to my dental care. I even make it to my dental appointments without numerous reminders from my dentist. If you have bad cavities and fear losing your teeth, read through my blog. It'll give you valuable tips to help you stay cavity-free.