missing tooth cartoon

Whatever You Do, Replace That Tooth!

At St. Petersburg Dental Center, our doctors will do everything it takes to save a tooth. Sometimes, despite our best efforts, an extraction is necessary. This can be a worrisome time for patients: Will the missing tooth be obvious? How will others’ perceptions of them change when their smile changes? Are there reasonable replacement methods that will restore their smile? We’re happy to tell you that, not only are there replacement options for a missing tooth, but they are far more than cosmetic. If you lose even a single adult tooth, you should replace it as soon as possible. Here’s why:

  • Your teeth need each other. When one tooth is missing from an arch, the remaining teeth begin to shift.
  • Crooked teeth are sometimes harder to clean. If your teeth crowd when they shift, they can be more difficult to clean effectively. If you can’t clean between your teeth properly, then you increase your risk of decay, gum disease, and even further tooth loss.
  • Crooked teeth can lead to misaligned bites. When the top and bottom teeth don’t come together as they should, chewing and even speaking can become more difficult.
  • Misaligned bites can cause jaw problems. If your bite isn’t correctly aligned, your jaw will try to compensate. This can lead to ear aches, headaches, shoulder and neck pain, and even disorders of the temporomandibular (jaw) joints.
  • When teeth are missing, so are the tooth roots that used to reside in the jaw. Without those roots firmly planted where they’re intended to be, your jaw bone can become compromised.
  • The shape of your face could change (and not for the better). Weakened jaw bones and multiple missing teeth cause the sunken in look that is associated with old age.

Our favorite solution for tooth loss is dental implants. While there are others available, only implants are permanent and offer the appearance, stability, and function of natural teeth. If you’ve been missing a tooth or two but haven’t considered your replacement options, then act quickly. The faster you replace a tooth, the less likely you are to suffer from any of the aforementioned complications.

We hope you never need them, but both our Clearwater and St. Petersburg locations offer extractions, dental implants, and other restorative dentistry services. Contact one of our offices today to schedule an appointment and preserve the integrity of your smile.