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Dental implants are a great way to replace missing teeth as they are often the most cost effective and conservative option in the long term. In order to make the best decision it is wise to consider the alternatives to replacing missing tooth.
This is a great question. If you have missing teeth there are a variety of options:
You may decide to do nothing and leave the gap, let's look at this as an alternative.
Do nothing and leave the gap.
When you lose a tooth it leaves a socket in the bone where the root used to be, the surrounding bone then collapses into this socket and the overall area shrinks.
This shrinking/bone loss can have an impact on the aesthetics of your smile and possibly cause biting and chewing problems. This bone loss can happen slowly and continue for a considerable amount of time after you have lost the tooth.
What is also important to note is that your teeth are in fine balance with one another, without any support your teeth will have a tendency to drift.
Your cheek and tongue keep the teeth from drifting inward or outward, the teeth either side prevent a tooth from drifting backwards or forwards and the teeth on the opposing draw prevent the tooth from over erupting up or down.
All of these forces act in unison to create what is known as a neutral zone. If this neutral zone is disrupted, example by the loss of tooth, the surrounding teeth can begin to drift.
Teeth either side of the gap will tend to drift in towards the gap and the teeth on the opposing jaw will tend to over erupt.
What this means is that the impact of losing a single tooth can have a knock on effect to the surrounding teeth which can then impact the way you bite together and your overall chewing ability.
Many people feel there is no need to replace the missing tooth ( in some cases this could be the right thing to do), however in the past patients of ours have felt the same and found that their decision was not the best one to make as all their surrounding teeth began to move which created a larger compromise than simply having a missing tooth.
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