A tooth can be lost for a number of reasons, including dental decay, periodontal disease, injuries and accidents.
Though some may think that a missing tooth is only a cosmetic problem, losing a tooth can cause more serious problems in the mouth. When a permanent tooth is lost, the neighbouring teeth can also be affected. The tooth above or below the one that was lost will usually move out of its socket towards the space created by the lost tooth. Teeth next to the lost tooth often tilt towards the existing space. Both of these scenarios can result in uncomfortable food catches as well as an uneven bite, gum problems may be unsightly. If a missing tooth is not replaced, there is a chance that more teeth will eventually be lost or damaged, due to the uneven forces exerted during chewing.
Crowns, bridges and partial dentures are the most common methods for correcting major functional or structural problems with individual teeth, missing teeth or general bite imbalance. Dental implants are also used successfully to replace teeth for people in most age groups.