What Happens If Your Missing Tooth Is Not Replaced?

You are not alone if you have a missing tooth or teeth. Almost half the population in the USA have missing teeth. By the age of 50 the average American adult has lost 12 permanent teeth according to Harvard Medical School. Tooth loss tends to become more common in middle age.

Missing teeth can make you look older, less attractive and increase health issues such as diabetes, cancers, and heart disease.

jaw bone after missing teeth

What problems can missing teeth cause?

Appearance – It is very embarrassing to have missing teeth. It impacts your self-confidence and overall quality of life.

Crooked teeth – When a gap is left open due to your missing tooth the surrounding teeth tend to shift because that missing tooth is no longer keeping the others intact. Teeth can then become crooked or new gaps can appear. Besides a crooked smile a missing tooth can also cause bite problems and joint pain in the long run.

Gum disease and decay – When your teeth shift and become crooked you might not be able to brush and floss all around your teeth properly due to the gaps and crooked teeth. Your surrounding teeth are more likely to decay which could lead to further tooth loss.

Bone loss – One of the biggest loses a missing tooth that is not replaced will give you is bone loss. Making you look years older. Your teeth also support your jaw by stimulating bone growth. When one or more teeth are absent this will cause the jaw to shrink and change its shape and appearance.

Suffer to bite and chew food - you will find it much harder to bite and chew your food once you have missing teeth which will cause you to avoid certain foods. This will have an impact on your nutritional requirements.

Speech problems – If you have front teeth that are missing it could affect the way you speak and make it hard to pronounce certain words. This can impact your social life and communication to your friends and loved ones.

What are the options to replace a missing tooth?

The options are:

  • Dentures
  • Bridges
  • Dental Implants

dental implants vs dentures to replace missing teeth

Dentures and bridges usually replace the crown of your tooth and not the root. If the root of your tooth does not stimulate the bone in your jaw it will lead to a shrinking jaw overtime. Only dental implants can stop your jaw from shrinking as the artificial root (the implant) is still able to stimulate your jawbone. Making you look years younger and more attractive.

What happens if I do not replace a missing tooth with dental implants and use dentures instead?

Dentures need to be removed to be cleaned and dentures need to be changed every 5 years due to the changes in the gum shape from bone loss. Dental implants on the other hand act as natural teeth and are fitted permanently like your natural teeth. You can bite and chew your good as normal and have lovely sparkling teeth that can last a lifetime. 

replace missing teeth 2

Above is a recent patient that came in to get dental implants at Silver Oaks Dental Clinic in Durban, South Africa.

When we originally saw Toy she couldn't chew her food properly and was embarrassed to smile. Her jawbone was shrinking due to the loss of teeth over the years and wearing dentures. We did a full smile makeover to improve her confidence and quality of life which made her look years younger. 

Toy had previously worn dentures that did not suite her face structure, age and colour of her skin. The dentures were loose fitting as her jaw bone changed shape over the years due to the loss of bone. Initially we did bone grafting to replace missing bone and then we placed Dental Implants to replace her missing teeth. In order to place the implants, we had to do a thorough examination as to the amount of healthy bone available. We had to also assess risk factors and make use of 3-D scans in order to evaluate the situation ensuring optimal success. Every Dental Implant case is unique. Toy's case was a very complex one. 

By re-adjusting her bite, Toy is now able to chew properly and smile more confidently. Dr Huson skillfully implemented the completion of the total procedure which included Toy wearing temporary crowns in order to assess the look and feel of her teeth first. Once Toy was totally satisfied with her new look the final crowns were placed. 

Toy looked many years younger just by adding dental implants. You might ask how is this possible?

Missing teeth will result to sunken cheeks, which can make you look years older than your actual age. While you can’t necessarily see it, when you have gaps in between your teeth as a result of extraction, your jawbone will begin to shrink.

As a result, your cheeks will sag, and creases will form on your face. Dentures may fill in the gaps in your teeth, but they don’t actually address your shrinking jawbone. The only way to arrest the movement is through dental implants.

Dr Huson has placed in excess 1000 Dental Implants and has worked under celebrity dentist Dr Joe Oliver in the Harley Street region of London. You are guaranteed work that is of the highest quality. Dental Implants are an ideal, long term solution to replacing missing or damaged teeth. Unlike dentures you will be able to chew and bite your food with ease. The procedure can last a lifetime and there is no need for their removal in order to have your teeth cleaned. 

Prices for dental implants start at R10 000 per tooth and can go up to R22 000 per tooth 

Call us to book your appointment today on 031 202 6584