Do Multiple Missing Teeth Cause Changes to Facial Structure?

As a child I never had preventive dentistry. If I had a problem with a tooth it was extracted. I began preventive dentistry in my 20's when I got dental insurance. My question is regarding the missing teeth. Bottom right jaw has no teeth at all. Now that I'm in my 50s that side of my face has an obvious sag. Is there anything I can do to correct this? I'm thinking implants may help but they're expensive. If facial structure is involved I'm wondering if there's any way this might be covered by insurance?

Doctor Answers 4

Prosthodontist for expert advice

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Hi Pam...I would seek the advice of a prosthodontist or someone who is highly skilled in facial symmentry and aesthetics and is knowledgeable in implantology. Implants will definitely make a difference to your facial structure. I would keep the insurance find a specialist who is willing to work with your insurance and also work out some form of extend payment option plan thar will help you finance this costly procedure.  Our ecomony is not so good and money is tight.  I would shop around and find an extremely good Dr. who does implants and offers some financial plans to go along with your treatment plan!  Go for will much happier with what you see in the mirror!

Valencia Dentist

Loss of teeth and facial structure changes

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With loss of number of teeth of the lower back teeth, the front teeth often begin to show attrition or shifting and in turn causing loss of back support (posterior bite collapse). This can certainly change facial structures as the jaws over close from loss of support. Unfortunately, in my experience, insurances do not consider this medical necessity and often do not cover replacement benefits.


Dr. Kazemi

H. Ryan Kazemi, DMD
Bethesda Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Damage that missing teeth will cause

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Damage that missing teeth will cause are too many to mention in a short response,. but facial asymmetry  is certainly one of them. Dental insurance is good for cleanings, and xrays. it helps you maintain what you have/ if you have a lot of issues, insurance will maintain you having a lot of issues!

What seems to  help you is a full mouth reconstruction that will cost 30-60 K. insurance may cover 2K max. So it is not a factor. I bet you many dentists including myself rather toss the insurance coverage out and pass the savings down to the patient just not having to file and deal with running after the payments to be paid to the dentist 3-6 months later.


Soheyla Marzvaan, DDS
Orange County Dentist

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Insurance only helps MAINTAIN dental health

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Try to drop insurance as a factor, it is highly likely that it won't help, and if it did, it would only contribute $1000 to $2000 towards treatment that can approach $60,000 and beyond.


Tooth loss certainly can affect facial aesthetics and structure.  Implants can help tremendously, but sometimes orthodontics is needed in advance to correct some dimensions.  Complex cases like this require a thorough consultation with an experienced cosmetic dentist or prosthodontist to determine precisely what is needed.

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.