A missing tooth is often replaced with an implant, which is a narrow screw attached to the jaw bone. The visible tooth is fixed to the implant. More information about implants is available in a free assessment of implant treatment need appointment. Read more about the entire implant treatment process. Below, you can find answers to the most frequently asked questions about missing teeth.
How common are missing teeth?
About 300,000 teeth are extracted every year in Finland. Only about 4% of the extracted teeth are replaced. 84% of over 65-year-old and 57% of over 44-year-old people are missing one or more teeth. One in ten of those over 30 years old in Finland does not have any teeth of their own. (Source: National Institute for Health and Welfare Health 2000; National Institute for Health and Welfare Health, Functional capacity and welfare of the Population, 2011)
Oral Hammaslääkärit conducted a qualitative consumer interview study in summer 2014, which suggested that the unawareness of treatments available for missing teeth, erroneous views regarding the risks of dental implant treatment and the financing of the treatment prevent seeking treatment.
Why does a missing tooth require a replacement tooth?
Aesthetic and social reasons
For many, a missing tooth causes primarily aesthetic issues. Social life is not the same when having to cover a hole between your teeth prevents laughing naturally and being social without worries.
After a tooth has been removed, the adjacent teeth move and the occlusion changes. Normal occlusion on the side of the missing tooth can be lost completely. After a while, a tooth without an opposing tooth can overerupt, or extend too low or rise too high, causing an interference in occlusion.
Occlusion issues may cause jaw ache, issues in the neck and shoulder area and headaches. Poor occlusion can also make the quality of life worse by causing eating problems, for instance.
After a tooth has been extracted, the jaw bone begins to melt gradually. Installing a dental implant is easiest right after the extraction. If a significant amount of time has passed since the extraction, a bone graft may have to be installed in the jaw in order to install the implant firmly.
Watch a video of Oral’s experts presenting Premium class implants:
Replacing a tooth with a solution other than implants
If the tooth’s natural root is intact, a crown, or the visible part of the tooth, can be installed.
One or more missing teeth can be replaced using a bridge prosthetic. A bridge is a prosthetic device attached to adjacent teeth or dental implants.
Teeth that are missing entirely can also be replaced by removable total prostheses, or dentures. The prosthesis can be fixed reliably firmly with the help of mini implants . If a tooth needs to be replace with something else than implants, you can make an assessment of prosthetic treatment need appointment to discuss possible prosthetic solutions..