General Dental Health: Missing Teeth and Should You Replace Them?

missing teeth

Many Americans have gotten some of their teeth extracted before. But most extracted teeth come from childhood, and usually, those were ready to leave. These teeth were considered baby teeth and were expected to fall off. However, as you grow, you gain a more permanent set of teeth meant to stay with you for a long time. But due to unforeseen circumstances, these teeth might have been damaged and forced to be extracted by your dentist.

Tooth Extraction

Tooth extraction is a painful experience and one that can also damage people’s self-esteem, knowing that a tooth is gone forever. However, considering that millions of Americans experience cavities at least once in their adult life, it’s no wonder tooth extraction is such a standard treatment.

The common misconception among people is that teeth grow back, even permanent ones. But extracted teeth, especially during adulthood, don’t grow back. This is because there isn’t a set of teeth waiting to grow behind it, unlike baby teeth. So once a permanent tooth is extracted, it’s gone forever.

It’s in your best interest to take care of your teeth the best way you can. So what are the main reasons why tooth extraction happens, and how can you avoid them? The two main reasons for tooth extraction are tooth decay and loosened teeth due to accidents.

Tooth Decay

Tooth decay is one of the most common dental problems that people encounter in their lives. This is primarily due to the lack of proper dental hygiene and awareness.

About 26% of the adult population in the United States have tooth decay. The majority of these people have to get at least one of their teeth extracted. Those in fear of such an operation are prone to having more of their teeth decay over time.

If you want to avoid tooth decay, all you have to do is practice proper dental hygiene. This means brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing, and using mouthwash whenever you can. You should also avoid smoking and sugary carbonated drinks.

Loosened Teeth

Loosened teeth are another reason why tooth extraction has to happen. Most loosened teeth occur from accidents, but there are other reasons out there, such as a gum infection.

It’s essential to extract loosened teeth because it can have detrimental effects on your gum and the teeth in the surrounding area. Moreover, it can lead to further infection and more pain in your mouth.

Now you might be asking, is it necessary to replace missing teeth after an extraction? Well, not most of the time.

Reasons Why You Should Replace Missing Teeth

missing teeth

There are many reasons people replace their missing teeth, some functional and some cosmetic. Here are some of them:

Cosmetic Purposes

As stated earlier, people lose a lot of self-esteem when they lose a permanent tooth, especially if it’s part of their front teeth. Replacing missing teeth can help them gain their self-confidence back. However, if the missing tooth is in a more concealed part of your mouth, like, let’s say, your back molar, then you don’t necessarily need to get it replaced. No one is going to notice it anyway.

Dental Health Reasons

Another reason why people replace missing teeth is for dental health reasons. Exposed gum can lead to bacteria build-up in your mouth. If you’re not the kind of person who brushes often, then that build-up can lead to severe problems in the future. So it’s wise to put something there to cover it up.

Missing teeth can certainly be problematic for many reasons, and replacing them can be pretty expensive. But thankfully, there are many teeth replacement options out there that can help you out. Some of these options aren’t all that expensive. Here are some great options:

  • Flippers. You might have seen the older generation wearing these things, but it’s quite common for people who have lost two to three teeth to wear them to replace their missing teeth. Flipper dentures are temporary partial dentures, and they are very affordable. Just don’t expect them to last forever.
  • Partial Dentures. A more permanent option is getting a partial denture. Unlike flippers, partial dentures can be screwed in, but don’t worry. They are still removable. These are known to be snap-in partial dentures. It can be more expensive, so consider the more conventional version if you’re on a budget.
  • Dental Implants. One of the best options that are available for replacing missing teeth is dental implants. This procedure is expensive (between $3,000 to $6,000), but it’s worth it because it’s technically known to last forever. It’s also the most natural way to replace missing teeth. It’s a lengthy process, but one that will make you look normal again.

You can lose a couple of teeth in your lifetime. Sometimes it’s just unavoidable. However, these options will help you feel better about your missing teeth. It’s worth giving these options a try, especially if you’re having some self-esteem issues lately.

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