What Causes a Missing Tooth?

Options For Replacing Missing Teeth Fresno, CA

For many patients, a missing tooth is a source of concern. It can cause adjacent teeth to shift, and it can also present cosmetic issues. Fortunately, there are restorative options that can help a patient achieve a healthy, attractive smile. When discussing treatment options with a dental professional, it is important to note why the tooth is missing. This will allow personalized treatment options to be given based on the patient's history of oral diseases and home hygiene practices.

4 common causes of missing teeth

There are many situations that can cause a missing tooth. Some are unavoidable, while others can be prevented with proper oral hygiene and routine dental care.

1. Development

It is completely normal for children to begin losing teeth around six years of age. Parents may be concerned that the permanent teeth are not erupting soon enough after the baby teeth are lost, but this process simply takes time. Sometimes, teeth are misaligned and can prevent proper eruption. In this situation, an orthodontic consultation is recommended. For some children, braces may be used earlier than normal as an intercepting method to prevent a missing tooth.

2. Decay

Tooth decay is more commonly known as a cavity. While many cavities can be treated in the early stages with a filling procedure, some patients wait too long to seek treatment. The larger a cavity grows, the more drastic treatment is. When the decay destroys too much tooth structure, an extraction is inevitable. However, there are restorative options like implants, bridges, and partial dentures that can replace the missing tooth.

3. Gum disease

Periodontal disease, called gum disease by most patients, is a progressive infection that destroys the bone and supporting structures around the teeth. When the infection becomes widespread and advanced, teeth become loose and are eventually lost. When a tooth succumbs to this disease process, restorative options must be considered more carefully. For example, there is often not enough bone support to place an implant. The patient might be a candidate for a fixed bridge or partial denture, though.

4. Injury

Unfortunately, a missing tooth is sometimes caused by an unavoidable accident. This can include a blow to the face, a car accident, or a fall. For most healthy patients, a restorative option like an implant can be used. It is important to give the area proper time to heal after the injury, and the patient should be given clear care instructions for the injury site.


With modern advancements in dentistry, there many options for patients to replace missing teeth. When reviewing these treatment options with a dental professional, it is important that the patient understands the pros and cons of each procedure. When there is a concerted effort between the patient and their dental care team to restore a smile, the patient can walk away with a smile that makes them feel confident once again.

Request an appointment here: https://www.professionaldentalcare.net or call Professional Dental Care at (559) 467-1234 for an appointment in our Fresno office.

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