When we talk about teeth, every single one of yours counts. Whether you’ve lost a tooth due to injury or poor oral hygiene, it’s worth seeing Dr. Wilma Shen DDS to evaluate all your replacement options. If you don’t, you could suffer negative effects to your teeth, gums, jawbones, appearance, and self-esteem.
Depending on how many teeth are missing and where they are located, Dr. Wilma Shen DDS may suggest an implant, fixed bridge, or a removable bridge.
Addressing missing teeth as soon as possible is in your best interests. If you don’t, the consequences might include:
- Shifting teeth: When you lose a tooth, the space it creates allows the neighboring teeth to drift and move out of alignment. A once-straight smile and correct bite can quickly turn into crooked teeth and a misaligned bite.
- Tooth decay and/or gum disease: After teeth have shifted, it can be harder to reach all areas around them to brush and floss properly. The buildup of bacteria and plaque can result in periodontal disease and the loss of your remaining teeth due to decay.
- Effect on jaws: Missing teeth alter your bite and how your teeth and jaws contact one another. This puts added strain on your jaw joint (TMJ) and can contribute to the development of TMJ disorder.
- Change in face and appearance: When you lose a tooth, your gums and your jawbone are no longer stimulated in that area. A dental implant replaces the root of a tooth or several teeth, and provides stimulation to prevent bone loss. If the root isn’t replaced, this can lead to deterioration of the jawbone and alteration of the shape and appearance of your face. Your face, especially the cheeks, can look older and more sunken.
Replacing missing teeth is an essential step for your physical and emotional health. If they are replaced in a timely manner at our Seattle, WA office, you’ll continue to have the same wonderful smile you’ve always had.