Missing teeth are both an inconvenience and a confidence booster. It makes chewing difficult, and you would be hesitant to flash a big smile. While missing teeth at the back won’t be a big problem, the one in front can make a huge impact on your looks. The good news is that there’s a way to fix it with the help of your dentist.
Problems associated with missing teeth
Everyone can lose a tooth at some point. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, around 17.7% of Americans lost at least one permanent tooth. All of these cases are due to tooth decay.
When you lost a tooth, the following problems will arise:
- Shifting teeth. The gap due to a missing tooth will cause your remaining teeth to shift. Over time, they will crowd each other, which will lead to more dental problems. Some patients with this problem can also develop a painful bite misalignment.
- Chewing difficulty. Once you lose teeth, there will be fewer biters to chew food. This will make it hard to break down hard food items like apples, nuts, corn, and so on. Over time, this will cause the person to eat less and even suffer from weight loss.
- Speech issues. Missing teeth can result in a lisp. The person will feel embarrassed to talk and will often cover his or her mouth to hide the tooth gap.
- Low confidence. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), around 23% of their study respondents say they are not confident to smile. This can greatly impact a person’s social skills, with some becoming withdrawn.
- Missed job opportunities. This may come as a surprise, but missing teeth can also lead to missed job opportunities. About 28% from the same ADA study mentioned above said that their missing teeth affected their chance to land a job.
How to fix missing teeth
As much as missing teeth are problematic, there are many options to fix them. It’s important to visit your dentist to discuss your options. The following are some of the common solutions that your dentist may recommend:
- Implants. Dental implants are the most secure replacement for missing teeth. It’s designed specifically for the size and color of your missing tooth. A screw will be implanted in your jaw bone, where the crown will be installed. However, this option is invasive and expensive, too.
- Dentures. For those who lost multiple teeth, dentures are the last resort. It’s also the best fix if the patient isn’t suitable for dental implants. However, dentures can be uncomfortable, and early aging can still occur.
- Bridges. Dental bridges are suitable for those who have lost one or several teeth. There should be surrounding teeth to support the bridge. Otherwise, it will just fall off. Overall, this solution is the middle ground between implants and dentures.
Missing teeth shouldn’t become a life sentence. There are dental solutions you can explore to bring back your confident smile. Your dentist is the best person to consult, so you can finally break free from the emotional toll of your missing teeth.