When people look at tooth replacement options, it's often because they've lost several teeth. It can be relatively easy to ignore the loss of a single tooth, particularly if it's towards the back of the mouth and therefore hard to see when you're speaking. After all, the loss of a single tooth often doesn't seem like a big deal since you can still eat and talk easily enough.
However, you should really have even a single missing tooth replaced as soon as possible, and single-tooth dental implants are your best option. Here are just a few reasons why you should have your tooth replaced with an implant as quickly as you can.
Helps Preserve the Jawbone
Most people don't understand the relationship between a tooth and the jawbone that supports it. You see, the root of each tooth goes into the jawbone, and the pressure created when you chew helps stimulate that bone. Without the pressure coming through, bone reabsorption occurs. Over time, the jawbone becomes shallower, changing the shape of the face and complicating future dental work. A dental implant places an artificial root in the jawbone, so bone reabsorption isn't a problem.
Supports Your Remaining Teeth
If you're telling yourself your tooth doesn't need to be replaced because the loss isn't particularly noticeable, you probably aren't aware of the cosmetic problems that can result across the rest of your pearly whites. Teeth are designed to support each other. If one is lost, the surrounding teeth can start to move into the gap. Even if the rest of your teeth are perfectly straight, they could become crooked or crowded.
No Bite Problems
You might not think that missing a single tooth would create any issues with your bite, but you'd be wrong. As mentioned above, teeth tend to move around when even a single one is missing, and even the smallest shift could change the way your teeth come together. Even if this doesn't happen, chewing with a missing tooth will place more pressure on the surrounding teeth.
Lasts for a Lifetime
Finally, plenty of people who have lost just a single tooth are on the younger side—often the tooth is lost due to an accident rather than due to decay or infection. Though implants can fail, they can easily last a lifetime. Have one fitted when you're young, and you'll soon forget one of your teeth is even artificial.