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You might have asked yourself, “Why should I replace my missing teeth?” This is a great question! The majority of the time, people don’t think to replace missing teeth, especially if they are in the back of the mouth like your molars. Most people think that if they can’t see it then they don’t need to replace it. The reason you need to replace the missing tooth is that there is a higher chance of experiencing bone deterioration, and the teeth that surround the area have a less chance of survival. There are several issues that can occur if you don’t get the tooth replaced. Your jawbone can start to weaken or deteriorate whenever a tooth is missing, causing a recessed appearance on your outer smile. Also, the longer a tooth is missing, the more likely it is for your other teeth to shift into the hollow space.

When you are missing a tooth, it can start to cause issues with biting and chewing, which can alter your diet and nutrition. Many studies show that missing teeth can lead to issues with the TMJ (temporomandibular joint). Also, patients who are missing teeth cannot chew their food properly, which contributes to digestive problems. Most patients don’t even notice the slow and subtle change in their bite.

For a number of years, there have been numerous studies to determine the survival rate of teeth that are next to missing tooth spaces. These studies also compared the rate of adjacent tooth loss in cases in which the missing tooth is replaced. They also compare these to other cases in which the missing tooth is not replaced. These studies show that there is a significant loss of adjacent teeth if the missing tooth is not replaced. Here are few pieces of data that they have found:

VA Medical Center Longitudinal Study, Shugars, Journal of the American Dental Association (1998):

19% of adjacent teeth failed if the space was untreated.

30% failed if the space was treated with a removable partial denture.

10% failed if the space was treated with a tooth-supported bridge.

It is important to replace any missing teeth so that the other teeth in your mouth don’t decay or shift. For teeth replacement in Waco, Texas, look no further! Whether you choose dental implants or other options like a partial denture or bridge, it is important to come in for a free consultation and discuss the best option for you. Call Waco’s dental implant experts today!