Keep smiling even if you are missing a tooth and focus on keeping the rest of your teeth

Whether or not you accept a missing tooth will partly depend on where it is located.

When/why should you choose this option

  • The missing tooth does not limit your ability to speak or chew.
  • You are not motivated to replace the missing tooth.
  • Accepting the missing tooth may avoid the need to cut and shape other teeth to restore the  gap(s), but may also lead to other problems (see “What do you need to be aware of”) which can be necessary for some prosthetic treatments.
  • It becomes easier to clean the teeth next to the missing tooth.

What do you need to be aware of

  • It could be more difficult to replace missing teeth in the future if further teeth are lost, which may then affect your ability to speak and chew comfortably.
  • The remaining teeth may move, tip or tilt on either side of the missing tooth. Your dentist will call this: tipping.
  • A tooth may continue to grow out of the gum if the opposing tooth is missing. Your dentist will call this: over-eruption.

What will you need to do to improve your chance of long-term success?

  • Brush your teeth twice a day with a toothpaste containing at least 1,100 ppm fluoride if your risk of dental caries is low.
  • Use dental floss and/or interdental brushes to clean between your teeth.
  • Eat a well-balanced diet that is low in sugar.
  • Your dentist will assess your risk and need for periodic review. This might be between 3-12  months depending on his/her recommendation.

What if there are problems?

  • It may become necessary to restore the space if there is significant tooth movement or further tooth loss.

What other factors do we need to consider?

  • Invasiveness of procedure: Non-invasive.
  • Treatment fees: No cost.

How does this option affect you?

Although accepting the missing tooth avoids dental procedures and requires no financial burden, it is important to weigh up the possibility that it may impact you in the future in terms of appearance, function, and quality of life.