Why Do I Need to Replace a Missing Tooth?

Over erupted upper molars due to missing lower molars

Teeth are lost for a number of reasons. Sometimes a badly decayed tooth cannot be saved and needs to be removed. Other times trauma can cause tooth loss such as in a fight or sporting accident. But no matter what caused the tooth loss, replacement of the lost tooth needs to be seriously considered.

People often say “I have so many teeth, so what if I lose a couple?” We also have 10 fingers and toes. Have you ever considered losing a finger or toe since we have so many? NO. In fact, people will do anything to save their fingers and toes. So why are teeth treated any differently than another body part? No one knows for sure, but perhaps it’s like the saying “out of sight, out of mind”. After all, if we cannot see something, how can we expect to have any memories or feelings towards it?

Untreated tooth loss is the beginning of the journey to destination “edentulism”, which is a fancy word for no teeth. In the case above, the patient had lost a lower molar years ago but never got the tooth replaced. Fast forward to today, the same patient is going to lose the over-erupted upper tooth because of biting issues. Plus, the loss of the lower molar placed the rest of the adjacent teeth under greater stress from chewing. Since there were less teeth to chew the food with, they had to be used more. This led to a faster breakdown of these teeth due to overuse. These problems could have been avoided altogether if the lost tooth was replaced.

Nowadays there are many ways to replace lost or missing teeth. The consequences of not replacing missing teeth has multiple negative health implications. If you have missing teeth but do not want to become totally toothless one day, contact us for a dental consultation to see what can be done to stop the journey to edentulism.