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Missing teeth: The *real* cost of living with lost teeth

Dental Implants
Dr Daniel Adamo
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Replacing your missing teeth may be a major investment, but trying to live without them can come at a much bigger cost.

When you’re missing teeth, it can affect everything from the way you eat and speak to your overall wellbeing and emotional health.

Read on to learn all about the biological, psychological and social impact of living with lost teeth. We’ll also look at the different options to replace missing teeth.

What causes missing teeth?

The most common reasons for missing teeth are tooth decay, gum disease and injury.

Untreated decay and gum disease are the main causes of tooth loss in older adults. If left untreated, gum disease damages the soft tissue that surrounds your teeth and destroys the bone that supports your teeth. This causes the teeth to loosen and can eventually lead to tooth loss. Similarly, untreated decay and cavities will continue to spread deeper into the tooth, eventually leading to an infection of the root and possible tooth extraction.

Injury or trauma is more likely to cause tooth loss in younger people and often stems from accidental hits to the mouth during sports or other everyday activities. If a tooth is knocked out completely, it may be able to be saved and replanted back into the socket. However, if a tooth is severely cracked or broken, restoration may not be possible and the remaining tooth may need to be removed.

Some genetic and medical conditions are also associated with missing teeth.

Dr Adamo discusses missing teeth replacement with his patient
Lost one, a few or all of your teeth? Come in for your free consultation with Dr Daniel Adamo and discuss the best options to replace missing teeth.

What happens if you don’t replace missing teeth?

If you’re missing teeth, especially at the back of your mouth where they cannot be seen, you may think you’ll be fine to simply carry out without them…

But think again.

There are more than just cosmetic reasons to consider when looking at options to replace missing teeth. Teeth are made to work together — and when one or a few teeth are lost, serious implications can follow. 

Missing teeth can have a major impact on your life. And it’s not just the biological impact on the way you eat and speak that we’re concerned about. Missing teeth can also have a deeply detrimental effect on your mental health and social life.


Missing teeth: The *real* cost of living with lost teeth

Book your free consultation with Dr Adamo today.

Biological impact of missing teeth

As we said above, teeth work together. So when a tooth is lost, it can throw the whole mouth and jaw out of whack. Some biological implications of missing teeth include:


Missing teeth can affect how you speak. Your teeth, lips and tongue all work together to correctly form and pronounce words. So, when a tooth is lost (especially at the front of the mouth), your verbal ability may suffer.

Eating and chewing

It may become difficult or uncomfortable to chew your food. Not only does this limit your food choices, but it can also lead you to only chew on one side of your mouth to compensate for your lost tooth. Over time, this will affect your jaw muscles. Plus, studies have found that poor chewing ability is linked to poorer general health. Some believe this is because your chewing ability impacts your diet, which in turn impacts your overall health.

Bite alignment

When a tooth is lost, the gap left behind allows the remaining teeth to shift out of their correct position. This can change your bite alignment and lead to numerous other issues such as tooth sensitivity and tooth grinding. Bite misalignment can also make it harder to keep your teeth clean, leaving you at a higher risk of tooth decay and gum disease.

Jaw bone loss

When missing teeth are not replaced, your jaw bone will gradually recede. This is because the jaw bone requires stimulation from a tooth or dental implant to maintain its density. Jaw bone loss will not only reduce your tooth replacement options in future, but it can also affect your facial structure.

Facial changes

The changes in your bite and how you chew your food have a domino effect on your jaw and facial muscles. Not only that, but jaw bone loss from missing teeth can cause your lips and cheeks to sink inwards, making you look older. Over time, this will change the shape and structure of your face.

A patient smiles after replacing their lost teeth
When you replace your missing teeth with dental implants, it’s not just your smile that returns — you’ll also regain complete function. This means you can eat and speak with ease again.

Psychological and social impact of missing teeth

Missing teeth can have a devastating effect on your psychological and emotional state.

Emotional impact of missing teeth

If you have teeth missing, you may be dealing with negative emotions such as:

  • Depression
  • Shame or embarrassment
  • Guilt
  • Low self-esteem
  • Low self-confidence and negativity toward your appearance

Social impact of missing teeth

The psychological impact of missing teeth often has a flow-on effect into your social life and you may:

  • Avoid smiling or laughing in public
  • Avoid eating around other people
  • Avoid speaking, especially to new people
  • Withdraw from family, friends and social activities you once enjoyed
  • Avoid or have difficulty forming new relationships

Sadly, the emotional and social toll of missing teeth isn’t talked about as much as it should be. Many dentists will openly discuss the physical impairments of missing teeth with their patients, yet avoid discussing the psychological implications.

This can cause many patients to feel alone in their struggle or as though they can’t talk about their situation out of fear of being judged or shamed. Often, this is a big reason why they put off seeing their dentist and avoid getting treatment — it can become a vicious cycle that’s tough to break.

That’s why we want to put an end to patients feeling anxious or embarrassed about getting the care they need. Dental Implants on Miller is a 100% judgement-free zone. Trust us, we’ve seen (and treated) it all before. We’re not here to lecture or scold. Our only aim is to get you on your way to a healthy and whole smile.

A patient discusses options to replace missing teeth with Dr Adamo
At Dental Implants on Miller, we’re here to listen — not lecture. Our focus is on making you feel completely comfortable and confident about getting your smile back.

What are the options for missing teeth?

Fortunately, there are a number of options to replace missing teeth. And the right one for you will ultimately depend on how many teeth you have missing, their location in your mouth and whether you require additional treatments.

While there are some less expensive interim tooth replacement options available, like dentures, these do have their own set of biological implications you need to consider (which we’ve outlined below).

Long-term solutions, like dental implants or All-on-4, are always going to be the best option for restoring your smile and your quality of life. Dental implants not only provide a more durable, permanent fix, but they’re also the closest replacement possible to natural teeth.

Dental implants

A dental implant is a titanium post that is surgically implanted into the jaw to replace the missing tooth root. The implant is then capped with an abutment and a dental crown (also called an implant tooth) to fill the gap left by the missing tooth. Over time, the dental implant fuses with the jaw bone (called osseointegration), helping to secure the implant in place.

A single dental implant is used to replace one missing tooth
A single dental implant can be used to replace one missing tooth. You may require multiple single implants if you’re missing several teeth in different locations in your mouth.

Who are dental implants suitable for?

Patients who have lost a single tooth or several teeth in different locations in the mouth.

How much do dental implants cost?

At Dental Implants on Miller, single dental implants start from $6,000.

Want to learn all about the factors that affect the cost of dental implants? We break it down for you in this article.

Advantages of dental implants

  • Looks just like a natural tooth
  • Extremely durable
  • Restores complete function
  • Very secure with low risk of dislodgement
  • The titanium implant can last a lifetime (with the right care)
  • Does not impact or damage neighbouring teeth
  • Stimulates jaw to prevent bone loss

Disadvantages of dental implants

  • More expensive than interim tooth replacement options
  • Requires a surgical procedure
  • Recovery time and healing can take several months
  • Implant tooth cannot be attached until the jaw and gums around the dental implant have completely healed (typically around 3 to 6 months after surgery) — for patients missing a front tooth, a temporary crown will be provided during the healing process
  • On rare occasions, implants can fail — however, they can generally be re-attempted after some time
  • Certain factors such as overall health and jaw bone loss may deem some patients unsuitable for surgery and/or the dental implants procedure

Dental implant bridge

A dental implant bridge involves the placement of at least two implants into the jaw to hold an implant bridge (or tooth bridge) of several teeth in a row in place.

An implant bridge is used to replace several missing teeth in a row
An implant bridge will be used if you’re missing several teeth in a row.

Patients who are missing several teeth in a row.

How much does an implant bridge cost?

At Dental Implants on Miller, a dental implant bridge starts from $14,500.

Advantages of implant bridges

  • Natural-looking result
  • Highly durable
  • Regain total function to eat, chew and speak
  • Extremely secure with low risk of dislodgement
  • The titanium implant can last a lifetime (with the correct care)
  • Does not involve nor damage adjacent teeth
  • Helps to prevent jaw bone loss

Disadvantages of implant bridges

  • More expensive than non-implant bridge replacement options
  • Requires surgery
  • May require the removal of existing teeth
  • Recovery time and healing takes a number of months
  • Implant bridge cannot be attached until healing process is complete (typically around 3 to 6 months after surgery) — for patients missing front teeth, a temporary bridge will be provided during this time
  • Implants can fail in rare cases — but can usually be re-attempted after some time
  • Patients must meet certain eligibility criteria to be suitable candidates for the surgery and implants

All-on-4 dental implants

All-on-4 involves the placement of (at least) four titanium implants in the jaw to hold a permanently fixed tooth bridge of up to 12 teeth in place. Thanks to the special All-on-4 technique, this treatment rarely requires bone grafting — even if you have bone loss. Some may refer to All-on-4 as full mouth dental implants as it is used to replace all teeth in the upper or lower jaw.

If you’d like to learn more about the All-on-4 treatment, be sure to check out this article.

All-on-4 is used to replace missing teeth
If you have no teeth or are about to lose all your teeth, All-on-4 may be the answer. And the best part? Your tooth bridge can be fitted just a few days after surgery.

Who is All-on-4 suitable for?

Patients who have no teeth or are about to lose all of their teeth in their upper or lower jaw (or both)

How much does All-on-4 cost?

At our Sydney All-on-4 clinic, packages for All-on-4 start from $19,500.

Did you know there are a few factors that can influence the cost of your All-on-4 treatment? Read all about them here.

Advantages of All-on-4

  • Tooth bridge can be fitted to implants just 2 to 3 days after surgery
  • Gives you a complete, natural-looking smile
  • Secure, permanent solution
  • Extreme durability — can last a lifetime with the right care and maintenance
  • Restores full function
  • All-on-4 treatment has a 95-97% success rate (read on PubMed)
  • Rarely requires bone grafting — meaning a shorter treatment and recovery time, and a less painful procedure
  • All-on-4 cleaning is much like caring for your natural teeth

Disadvantages of All-on-4

  • More expensive than other tooth replacement options
  • Only suitable for people who have lost or are about to lose all of their teeth
  • Requires a surgical procedure
  • May require the removal of existing teeth
  • In rare cases, implants can fail — however, they can usually be re-attempted after some healing time

Dental Implants on Miller is recognised as an All-on-4 Centre of Excellence by Nobel Biocare.

All-on-4 Centre of Excellence logo

As an All-on-4 Centre of Excellence, we have the surgical experience and training required to offer the genuine All-on-4 treatment concept. This means you’ll receive treatment from a trusted dental practice, vetted by Nobel Biocare. Plus, it assures that you’re receiving authentic Nobel Biocare implants and components, backed by a lifetime warranty.

Dr Daniel Adamo and the Dental Implants on Miller team
Our whole team is so proud to be recognised by Nobel Biocare as an All-on-4 Centre of Excellence — we’re one of only nine dental practices across Australia awarded with this distinction.


Removable dentures offer a cheaper, short-term solution for missing teeth. Dentures consist of replacement teeth attached to a gum-coloured base that is moulded to fit your mouth. If you need to replace all of your teeth, full dentures (or complete dentures) would be used. If you only need to replace one or a few teeth, a partial denture may be used.

We do not offer dentures at Dental Implants on Miller.

A patient smiles after replacing their missing teeth
Many of our patients with missing teeth come to us after years of struggling with loose or uncomfortable dentures. A more permanent fix with dental implants is the best solution to help them get their smile — and their life — back.

Who are dentures suitable for?

Patients who are seeking a lower cost, short-term option for their missing teeth

Advantages of dentures

  • More affordable than other tooth replacement options
  • Easy to clean
  • Easy to repair if broken or damaged
  • Provide a short-term solution for patients who are not ready to commit to a permanent treatment

Disadvantages of dentures

  • Can be uncomfortable and difficult to adjust to
  • Can become loose and move around when speaking or eating
  • Can look and feel unnatural
  • Must be removed and cleaned daily, which could increase the risk of damage or breakage
  • More susceptible to staining if not cleaned and maintained properly
  • Cannot be worn to bed or while sleeping, which may become a nuisance for some wearers and could increase the chance of misplacing them
  • Must be replaced every 5 to 10 years

Concerned about the cost of replacing missing teeth?

There’s really no need to worry. At Dental Implants on Miller, we offer a range of flexible finance options so you can restore your smile now and pay in manageable instalments.

A patient discusses dental implant finance plans at Dental Implants on Miller
Everyone deserves the chance to restore their smile — that’s why we offer affordable finance options to suit every budget.

Ready to replace your missing teeth?

If you’re ready to replace the missing piece in your smile, book your free consultation online and come in for your obligation-free chat with Dr Daniel Adamo. You’ll get the chance to discuss the right tooth replacement options for you and walk out with a personalised treatment plan.


Missing teeth: The *real* cost of living with lost teeth

Book your free consultation with Dr Adamo today.

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