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Should I Replace My Missing Teeth? Answering Common FAQs About Tooth Loss

Man with missing teeth

If you’ve recently lost one or more teeth in Escondido or San Marcos, you may be wondering if you should replace them. Do you need to replace missing teeth? What are your options? What happens if you don’t replace missing teeth? Find out now in this blog from the office of Dr. Douglas G. Hope.

Should I Replace My Missing Teeth?

Yes. If you’ve lost one or more teeth in Escondido, you need to schedule an appointment with Dr. Hope right away to explore your options for replacing your missing teeth. Losing teeth makes it harder to eat and speak, impacts your self-esteem, and can lead to future oral health issues. 

What Happens If I Don’t Replace My Missing Teeth?

Your appearance will be negatively affected, and your self-esteem and confidence may suffer due to tooth loss. Losing multiple teeth also makes it harder to eat certain foods and to speak, particularly if you lose front teeth.

In addition, your remaining teeth may shift toward the now-empty sockets in your mouth to try to fill up the gap. This can cause issues with the alignment of your teeth and your jaw.

Also, the bone underneath the missing tooth will start to weaken over time since it’s no longer being stimulated by biting and chewing. To prevent this, you will need to get a dental implant. Other tooth replacement options like dentures and dental bridges won’t strengthen your jaw bone.

Does It Matter When I Replace My Missing Teeth?

Yes. The sooner you get a tooth replacement, the less likely it is that your other teeth will shift toward the empty socket. This can help you avoid future oral health complications.

Also, when you lose a tooth, the underlying jaw bone will weaken and start to shrink. Some patients may lose up to 25% of this bone within a year of losing a tooth. If you plan on getting a dental implant, this is very important to understand. 

You need to get an implant right away to make sure your jaw bone is still strong enough for the implant, otherwise, you may need additional treatments like bone grafting. 

What Are My Tooth Replacement Options?

Your primary options are dentures, dental bridges, and dental implants. Dentures are usually the cheapest way to replace your teeth. They consist of one, several, or a full mouth of false teeth set in an acrylic base.

Partial dentures clip onto your remaining healthy teeth, while full dentures require any remaining teeth to be pulled and fit over your gums. Dentures are convenient and inexpensive. 

Dental bridges are another option. They use two crowns attached to healthy teeth to support one or more false teeth, which “bridge” the gap in your smile. They last longer than dentures and will never move or shift in your mouth.

Dental implants are small pieces of metal that are surgically placed into your mouth. Once they heal, they permanently bond to your jaw bone, and can be used to support restorations like dental crowns to replace one tooth, dental bridges to replace several teeth, or a full mouth of dentures to replace all of your teeth. They are expensive, but are also the most natural-looking and long-lasting option.

Contact the Office of Dr. Douglas G. Hope to Explore Your Tooth Replacement Options! 

Dr. Douglas G. Hope specializes in restorative dentistry and tooth replacement in Escondido, Vista, San Marcos, Valley Center, and Rancho Bernardo. If you’re missing one or more teeth and you’d like to explore your options for tooth replacement, just contact us online or give us a call at (760) 480-8883 to get started right away. 

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