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What happens when a tooth is missing?

If you’re missing a tooth or more, you may find that there are other things you miss. You may miss your natural smile. You may miss the ability to chew apples, crackers and other food you desire. Maybe you feel self-conscious about your teeth and mouth, or discomfort as remaining teeth shift. And perhaps you’ve experienced muscle strains, an inability to speak clearly, headaches or unease in familiar situations at work, with friends or at home.

Naturally, the effect of tooth loss varies from person to person and depends on what exactly has been lost. If you’ve lost the crown, you’ve lost the visible part of your tooth. But if you’ve lost the root as well, you’ve lost the unseen part of your tooth. The root anchors the tooth in your jawbone, providing stable support for the crown. Without the root, the bone around the lost tooth may gradually recede, remaining teeth may shift and chewing may become more difficult with time.

You can choose from a number of ways to replace your tooth crowns. But if you’re interested in replacing your entire tooth – crown and root – your only option is dental implants.