Lets get one thing straight, when your dentist tells you to replace that missing tooth - we are keeping your best interests at heart, not trying to make work. As dentists, I see the ramifications of not replacing missing teeth every day, multiple times per day. Hopefully, this blog article can educate you to further consider replacing your missing tooth with an implant or a fixed bridge. Here is why:
Teeth keep other teeth in place. If you have a missing tooth this can cause other teeth to drift forward, down, and up. When they move, they will NEVER move to the correct spot, they will tilt awkwardly and those that were once "biting partners" will further erupt into the space. We now have MORE PROBLEMS then when we started: the teeth behind have tilted forward, the smile line is now crooked, and the teeth below have moved up into the space. Tilted teeth experience gum disease more frequently due to them being harder to keep clean.
So now that the one tooth not being replaced has allowed two teeth behind it to tilt forward you will need orthodontics. Who wants braces again or when you are in your 50's? Those two teeth that were once "biting partners" have now moved up, they have to be cut back down and replaced with 2 crowns. All this could have been quickly fixed a few years ago, BUT now delaying treatment will cost you thousands more with orthodontics, additional crowns, ect. The list can go on and on.
The best reccommendation is to get the tooth replaced with either a fixed bridge or an implant at the earliest time possible.
I cant say it enough, we truly care about our patients. We do not want a perfectly healthy mouth to be affected by bite collapse, shifting of teeth, or unsightly missing teeth. This brings in more barriers to treatment by increasing the treatment cost and time. Look at these photos below.