There are consequences to missing teeth
that you may not have thought about, so it is important to make yourself aware of what might happen if you do nothing.
To fill or not to fill the gap, is ultimately your decision, not the dentist's. Remember it is your mouth not theirs- you are going to have to pay for it and live with whatever you decide to have done- not the dentist- so you need to go with what is right for you.
Their job is to give you all the information (ups and downs) that you need to know to make the decision; provide their best professional opinion on what you should have done and then actually carry out the treatment to the best possible standard.
This is known as ‘informed consent’ and is the basis of ethical dental practice. It is not to coax you into having a treatment, or drum up enough pain, so that you decide to take action and have, say a crown, when a filling is a perfectly suitable option. Making an 'informed decision' is empowering and necessary.
The benefits of replacing your missing teeth (such as improved appearance, speech and chewing) must be weighed against the possible consequences, risks and adverse effect of doing so. This must be considered in the context of all the different options and the costs of the various treatments.
The line between dental healthcare and cosmetic dentistry has become a little more blurry of late. There was always some overlap, as certain treatment options do look significantly better than others- unfortunately these tend to be slapped with suitably larger price tag and so are definitely not within reach of everybody.
Whether these are the best choices in the long term is slightly different and the answer is certainly not as clear cut as you may think. Every single situation and individual is different, no one case is ever quite the same.
You only have one set of adult teeth, so until we learn how to grow new teeth like sharks and crocodiles, it is worth doing everything you can to preserve them for your entire life and that may not be drilling them down to stubs and sticking beautiful porcelain crowns over the top at the age of 20.