Before we discuss why implants are the best option for replacing missing teeth, we want to first address why it is important to replace missing teeth in general. As well as the other options of replacing teeth.
If missing an anterior (front) tooth, of course aesthetics are a main motivator in getting the tooth replaced promptly. But other than not having the noticeable appearance of a missing tooth, there are many other important reasons to replace all missing teeth.
Jaw Problems, Higher Risk for Decay and Disease, and the Likelihood of Needing More Teeth Extracted
Once a tooth is missing, the surrounding teeth will begin to move into the open space, shifting the alignment of your teeth. When teeth are out of alignment bite problems begin to occur. When the upper and lower teeth do not properly align your jaw is continuously strained – causing grinding, extra pressure, and ultimately destroying the jaw joint and leading to TMJ problems. Shifted teeth are also harder to properly clean which can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. Teeth also rely on one another for proper function. Without proper function, the occluding teeth will begin to drift out of place and can cause additional tooth loss.
Premature Facial Aging
Tooth roots are implanted into bone. That bone relies on proper stimulation to maintain its density and volume. When a tooth is extracted the bone will deteriorate over time (up to 40% bone loss within two years after extraction) which leads to the sunken or hallowed appearance in the lower face, also known as pre-mature aging.
Food Restrictions/ Poor Nutrition
Your teeth serve an important role in helping you properly break down food. Missing teeth tend to restrict what foods you can eat due to not having the ability to properly chew food. Limiting your diet to only soft foods may cause you to avoid foods that are vital to good health.