Why Should I Replace A Missing Tooth?

Why Should I Replace A Missing Tooth? by Hunt Valley, MD Dentist Dr. Joel Nathanson.

Video Transcript

Why Should I Replace A Missing Tooth?

There are a number of reasons why a patient would want to replace a missing tooth, even a tooth that’s not one that shows in front of their smile. The first reason is for function. Teeth are designed to work together as a unit. It’s kind of like the fingers on your hand. If you’re missing a finger, you might be able to use your hand most of the way. Teeth are the same thing. They’re designed to work as an entire unit. And missing one means that you’re going to chew less efficiently and be less healthy.

Another reason for replacing a missing tooth is to help to preserve the bone in that area there. When a tooth is taken out, the bone tends to erode in that area and you could end up with a pit that will trap food. It will also compromise the support of the adjacent teeth. If a tooth is missing and the bone goes down, the teeth that are on either side of the space there will have less support and they’ll be in danger of being lost as well.

The other reason for replacing a missing tooth is so that the other teeth on either side of the space won’t drift. Nature does not like a vacuum. And when you have a space where a tooth should be, the other teeth start to drift into that space. That can throw your bite off and you could end up with problems with your jaw joint, which could be very, very complex and in some cases, almost impossible to treat effectively. So if you have a missing tooth, even if it’s a back tooth, you really should consider replacing it.