Implant Dentistry |6 min read

What Happens If You Don’t Replace Missing Teeth? [Video]

A man wondering what will happen if he should replace missing teeth

Did you know it’s estimated 178 million… This text opens a new tab to the statistic… Americans are missing at least one tooth?

Common causes for tooth loss are gum disease, decay, and trauma.

If this missing tooth is visible, you’ll likely want to replace it for aesthetic reasons.

But if your missing tooth is in the back or doesn’t affect your smile’s appearance, you may wonder:

What happens if I don’t replace my missing tooth?

The quick answer:

Your oral health and smile’s function will change.

How so?

We’ve got the answers below!

What happens if you don’t replace missing teeth?

Here is what you’ll be at risk for:

  • Bone loss
  • Tooth movement
  • TMJ disorder
  • Dental problems
  • Change in chewing
  • Impaired speech
  • Premature aging
  • Lower self-confidence

Keep reading to learn the details of each problem.

Bone loss

Without a tooth root stimulating blood flow and bone growth, the missing tooth’s surrounding bone structure begins to deteriorate.

Over time, this alters your face’s appearance. If you’re missing multiple teeth, you may begin to have that “sunk-in” look, common with dentures.

Without enough bone structure, your choices for restoring your smile down the road will be limited.

Tooth movement

A missing tooth leaves a gap for your adjacent teeth to shift. This creates a ripple effect, moving all of your other teeth and creating more gaps.

TMJ disorder

When your teeth shift, your bite changes. And when your bite changes, it affects how your jaw and teeth align.

When this alignment is out of harmony, you may experience TMJ disorder, which causes:

  • Headaches
  • Jaw pain
  • Teeth grinding
  • Difficulting or discomfort chewing
  • More uncomfortable symptoms

Dental problems

Shifting teeth makes it harder to clean when brushing and flossing, and create spaces ideal for bacterial growth.

This puts you at risk for tooth decay (cavities) and gum disease.

So while it may seem cheaper to extract your tooth and leave it missing, it costs more in the long run.

Difficulty chewing

Missing a tooth and its side effects can make it more difficult and painful to chew food.

You may find yourself avoiding hard-to-chew foods or overcompensating by chewing on one side of your mouth. This results in digestive issues and uneven wear on your teeth.

Impaired speech

Missing teeth – especially the front teeth – impairs your speech, such as pronouncing certain words or developing a lisp.

Not being able to speak clearly alters your social life and career.

Premature aging

Missing one or more teeth ages you 10 years or more. You’ll begin to look older with:

  • Unsupported lips
  • Unsymmetrical lips and cheeks
  • Sunken cheeks
  • Worn-down teeth
  • Sagging jaw and chin
  • Poor oral health

Lower self-confidence

Lastly, tooth loss impacts your self-esteem and confidence.

You may find yourself smiling less, avoiding social settings, being more reserved personally and professionally, and so forth.

What are your options to replace missing teeth?

It’s important to replace a missing tooth – even if it’s out of sight.

Tooth replacement options include:

Dental implants

Dental implants are the next best thing to natural teeth. Why?

They’re the only restoration that replaces your missing tooth from root to crown.

A dental implant consists of:

  • A small titanium post, which is surgically inserted into your jaw and becomes your new tooth’s root
  • An abutment, which connects your post and crown
  • A crown, which is custom-designed to look and feel like your surrounding teeth

While they may seem more expensive than other restorations, they’re more cost-effective over time.

They need minimal ongoing maintenance, last for decades with proper care, and prevent oral and overall health problems.

Watch this video to see how Dr. Ruparelia can use dental implants to help you:

Dental bridges

A dental bridge consists of an artificial tooth connected to two crowns on either side. The crowns are placed on the teeth adjacent to the missing tooth to fill the hole.

While a dental bridge doesn’t restore the tooth’s structure, it does provide functionality and beauty.

To achieve the best of both worlds – a dental implant and bridge – you can opt for an implant-retained bridge.

Instead of attaching crowns to the adjacent teeth, this option attached crowns to dental implants on either side of the missing tooth or teeth gap.


If you’re missing multiple teeth, a denture may be ideal. This restoration replaces a full arch of teeth.

However, dentures come with some downfalls, like accidental slippage and trouble speaking or eating. That’s why implant-supported dentures are a highly recommended alternative!

Dental implants permanently secure implant-retained dentures. This type of denture is comfortable, easy to take care of, and looks and feels natural.

Learn More About Implant-Supported Dentures

Teeth in a Day

If you want to restore an entire arch of teeth without dentures, then here’s your best option.

Teeth in a Day uses dental implants to give you a brand new arch of teeth.

With Teeth in a Day at Burke Centre, you’ll benefit from:

  • A new smile that looks, feels, and functions like natural teeth
  • A pain-free procedure (multiple sedation options are available)
  • Improved speech
  • Restored ability to chew
  • Supported facial structure
  • Youthful appearance
  • A 10-year warranty

The cherry on top:

You can complete this treatment in ONE DAY! 

Learn More About Teeth in a Day

Restore your smile today by replacing missing teeth

The first step to replace your missing tooth is to schedule a consultation.

Your restorative dentist reviews all your treatment options and makes a custom treatment plan that works within your timeline and budget.

If you live near Northern Virginia, contact us at Burke Centre Dental Arts. Our dental office is located in Burke, VA, and restores smiles from all over, including Alexandria, Fairfax, Richmond, Chantilly, and Washington, D.C.

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