What to Do About Missing Teeth in Salem, OR
Fix missing teeth forever and save your smile
Are missing teeth common?
By adulthood, nearly 70% of adults will have lost at least one permanent tooth. By age 75, over ¼ of adults will have lost all of their natural teeth. So yes, unfortunately, missing teeth are quite common.
Missing teeth in adults can be the result of:
- Untreated gum disease or advanced tooth decay
- Crowded or misaligned teeth that must be extracted
- Accidents or injuries that knock a tooth out or damage it
Is it OK not to replace a missing tooth?
There are some situations where it’s OK to not restore a missing tooth. For example, if a tooth is extracted because your jaw is small, then replacing the tooth with an implant or other restoration might not be feasible or necessary. And in some cases, a lost “baby” tooth in a child doesn’t need to be restored because the adult tooth will grow into place soon enough.
Don’t assume that a missing tooth is no big deal. In most cases, particularly for adults, we do recommend restoring the lost tooth to preserve your health, appearance, and ability to eat and speak naturally.
What happens if you don’t replace missing teeth?
- Neighboring teeth may become misaligned. This leads to not only an unattractive smile, but can make it harder to brush/floss effectively and can even contribute to jaw pain and chronic headaches.
- Bone in the jaw begins to degrade. This process, known as resorption, is irreversible and leads to the sunken “lemon face” look that’s particularly common in older people who wear dentures.
- Risk of decay and gum disease increases. Neighboring teeth, because they become harder to brush/floss effectively, become a breeding ground for bacteria. Increased risk of cavities and gum disease is the result.
- Loss of more teeth. All of these combine to increase your risk of losing more teeth. It’s a vicious cycle and one that’s hard to avoid.
Can I get an appointment today to fix my missing tooth?
We do offer same-day emergency appointments. But usually replacing a missing tooth can’t be done in just one visit. We’ll make sure you’re comfortable and not in pain. Then we’ll create a plan to address any underlying issues like gum disease or bone loss and then restore the lost tooth and schedule any needed follow-up care.
What is the best option for replacing missing teeth?
Dental implants are the gold standard for replacing missing teeth. An implant takes the place of the missing tooth’s “root” and is anchored securely in the jaw. This actually strengthens the bone and prevents further bone loss. Then a crown or fixed denture is used to complete the restoration. The end result is a strong, stable, and functional restoration that allows you to eat, speak, and smile with confidence.
My child knocked out a baby tooth. Should I worry?
Baby teeth are meant to fall out eventually. But a baby tooth that’s lost well before its time (either due to injury or decay) may pose a risk to your child’s lifelong dental health. The result may be crooked teeth, more cavities, difficulty chewing/speaking, and any number of other issues.
If your child loses a baby tooth, schedule a checkup to have the issue assessed as soon as possible.
Will dental insurance pay to fix my missing teeth?
Most forms of dental insurance do include some coverage for restorative procedures like implants. If you come to Healthy Smiles Family Dental in Salem, be aware that we work with most insurances and offer a variety of flexible payment options, including CareCredit.
Who is the best dentist to see in Salem for missing teeth?
Healthy Smiles Family Dental offers a variety of treatments to fix missing teeth, as well as preventive care to restore and maintain the health of your natural teeth. Our convenient Salem office is open Monday to Thursday, 7AM to 4PM. We’ll help with all your insurance paperwork and also offer a money-saving dental health membership plan, too! Learn more.
Financing & Payment Options
We offer CareCredit and discount plans through Principal and Carrington. Our office can also arrange payment plans with automatic withdrawals from your bank account.
Whether you have dental insurance or not, we’ll help you get the general dentistry treatments you want and need at a price you can afford.
Become a patient at Healthy Smiles Family Dental
Have questions? Call (503) 315-2500. We hope to see you soon!