Complications of a Missing Tooth

You might assume that a missing tooth is no big deal. Perhaps you don’t have pain, or your gap isn’t visible. If you’re missing a tooth, you’re not alone. An astonishing 120 million Americans are missing at least one tooth, and that number is expected to hit 200 million over the next 15 years. 

You shouldn’t ignore a missing tooth — for many reasons.

The dental team at Popper Dental on Manhattan’s Upper East Side is specially trained in providing solutions to missing teeth. Or if you’re in need of an extraction, they can perform that procedure and discuss your options for filling the gap. 

Is a missing tooth truly problematic?

Actually, yes. Being absent a tooth — or more — is detrimental to your oral health. A missing tooth can:

The first item on our list — bite problems — makes you vulnerable to other painful conditions, like headaches, temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD), and tooth sensitivity. It can even lead to the loss of additional teeth. 

In addition, your self-esteem can plummet if you’ve lost one or more teeth as an adult, because your smile isn’t one you’re proud of. 

What factors cause tooth loss?

The No. 1 cause of tooth loss is advanced decay. Severe gum disease, or periodontitis, also loosens your teeth and leads to loss.

Lifestyle factors up your risk too, including smoking or chewing tobacco and eating an imbalanced diet. Some health conditions raise your tooth loss risk as well, including diabetes and arthritis. Seeing your doctor regularly to manage them lowers your tooth loss risk. 

Trauma, such as a sports injury or car accident, is another chief cause of tooth loss. 

Solutions for replacing a missing tooth? 

Fortunately, you’ve got choices when it comes to addressing your missing tooth.

Dental implants

An implant is a small titanium post that your dentist places into your gum where your gap is. It serves as your new tooth “root” and the base for a bridge, crown, or dentures. We favor the implant brand with the best reputation and track record — Nobel Biocare implants. 

We provide standard implants and All-on-4 implants, which employ four implants to place an entire arch of teeth, or all of your upper or bottom teeth. These types of implants encourage jawbone stimulation to ward off bone loss — a side effect of wearing dentures. 

Dental crowns

Crowns are permanent caps that hide many problems, from worn teeth to gaps. They’re made of porcelain, ceramic, porcelain-fused-to-metal, or cast gold. Your dentist seals a crown either to a dental implant or your natural tooth. Crowns typically last up to 15 years.

Typically you schedule two crown appointments. At the first, your dentist injects local anesthetic and removes a bit of enamel to create space for the crown. Then they make an impression of your teeth that goes to a lab, where a custom-made crown is crafted that looks natural.

You use the temporary crown while your permanent one is being made, then return for your final placement and fitting. 


Dentures, unlike crowns and implants, are removable, and just like your own teeth, need to be properly cared for. Today’s dentures are comfortable and natural-looking. 

In addition to traditional partial and full dentures, we offer overdentures, which connect to your implants or natural teeth. They offer a way to keep your jawbone stimulated, lessening your risk for bone loss. 

Dental bridges

A bridge is a set of manufactured teeth that literally bridge the gap left by your missing teeth. The bridge is affixed to the natural tooth on either end of your gap and looks just like your real teeth. 

You can also get an implant-supported bridge that connects to an implant as opposed to a dental crown. Your dentist determines how many posts you need based on the size of your bridge. 

We’re here with great treatments if you’ve lost a tooth. Call our New York City office to schedule an appointment, or book one online

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