If you have a single missing tooth, you may wonder whether getting a dental implant to fill the gap is worth the cost. However, leaving a space in your smile can lead to problems in the long term. Here are four good reasons to get dental implants rather than leaving a gap.

1. Dental Implants May Improve Confidence

Studies show that your smile plays a huge role in the first impressions you make on people. In fact, more than 37 percent of people say it's the first thing they notice when they meet someone new. If you have a gap in your smile, you might feel less confident when meeting new people at work or in your social life. Not being able to flash a big friendly smile may change the way you relate to people, whereas a dental impant could allow you to carry on being your usual confident self.

2. Spaces in Your Smile Can Cause Discomfort When Eating

Every tooth has a specialized role to play in eating. While your incisors and canines help you bite and tear food, molars provide a large flat surface for chewing. If one of your teeth is missing, you may notice that eating hard or brittle foods isn't as enjoyable as it used to be. These foods can press uncomfortably into the gap, irritating the sensitive gum tissue and causing pain. Changing your diet is one option, but why give up delicious foods when a dental implant could allow you to eat whatever you want?

3. Missing Teeth Can Lead to Misalignment

Even though adult teeth seem firmly fixed in position, they can actually shift significantly when you lose a tooth. Over the years, you may notice your remaining teeth gradually shifting to fill the gap in your smile. This can result in teeth becoming twisted or misaligned, which can lead to problems with your bite and looking unsightly. Prevent this gradual shifting in your smile by filling the gap with a dental implant soon after your tooth is removed.

4. Dental Implants Support Jawbone Health

When you have a full set of teeth, chewing forces transmit through your teeth and gums to the bone. This daily pressure stimulates new growth in the jawbone, strengthening the bone and helping to keep it healthy. When you are missing one or more teeth, portions of the bone don't experience these chewing forces, which can cause them to become thin and weak. Dental implants maintain normal pressure on the bone, helping to keep it healthy.