Losing a tooth is a bigger deal than what is merely visible in a smile. But, that’s a pretty big deal!

Of course, a tooth that is obviously missing in a smile can detract from facial appearance. However, studies have shown a tooth that is absent in a smile also impacts how an individual is perceived by others to a rather significant extent.

Several studies have shown that lasting impressions are made within the first three seconds of meeting someone. And, your smile has a leading role in that impression.

According to a 2015 article in Inc. magazine, “48 percent of all Americans feel that a smile is the most memorable feature after first meeting someone.” (https://www.inc.com/jeremy-goldman/6-ways-successful-people-make-a-good-first-impression.html)

In one study of over 1,000 Americans, nearly 30 percent said the first feature they noticed when meeting someone new was their teeth. A quarter of those in the survey said it was a person’s teeth that were remembered most later.

While a smile can play a significant part in one’s appearance and how he or she is perceived by others, it can also affect their career, dating and perception of age. Missing teeth can do more than send not-so-good messages to others, however.

Tooth loss can also make an individual feel less apt to be socially involved. According to a of the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) of nearly 20,000 dentists, 86 percent had noted patients who felt social embarrassment as a result. Their observations indicated that tooth loss caused over half of their patients to avoid social interaction.

Yet, the emotional repercussions of tooth loss are just part of the challenge. It is a fact that a tooth adjacent to one that is lost is most likely to be the next lost. This begins a cycle of tooth loss that leads to a long list of problems and expenses.

The arrangement of your teeth is a balanced support system that provides proper support and stability. Losing a tooth and not replacing it can create a domino effect of ongoing oral problems, including drifting, shifting, chips, broken teeth and an increased risk of gum disease and decay.

In the natural balance of teeth, each tooth has three or four companion teeth. These include the teeth on either side as well as upper or lower teeth that meet them in a bite. It is this balance that allows upper and lower teeth to work harmoniously for chewing function.

When a tooth is lost, statistics show that a companion tooth will be lost next. Then, the next closest tooth is subjected to the same conditions. With each tooth lost, the problems are magnified and the cycle of loss continues.

A fixed bridge restores your smile’s appearance and chewing function as well as stabilizes surrounding teeth. In this process, a bridge of one or more replacement teeth is attached to crowned teeth on each side. The bridge is attached to the crowns and secured in place. The result is an appealing look and feel.

Tooth loss can occur for a variety of reasons, including an overload of cavities, breaks, accidents, fractures below the gum line, or gum disease. We strive to help patients be proactive whenever possible with crowns or inlays to protect teeth.

Obviously, a smile says a lot, even in the first three seconds of meeting someone! If a missing tooth (or teeth) is sending the wrong message to others, call 219-987-5733 to schedule a free consultation. Our Demotte dental office provides complete services to replace missing teeth.

During your consultation, we will discuss tooth replacement options that are best for you. Let us help you enjoy an impressive smile that has a natural look and feel along with exceptional durability.

While you’re here, ask to meet with our Financial Coordinator to learn about affordable payment plans. Some plans require no down payment and are interest-free.

Smile with confidence and often!