While it is technically true that you do not need to have a tooth replaced, failing to replace a tooth will have consequences on the alignment of your teeth, jaw, and oral health in the long run.
We understand that not every patient is in the financial position to replace a missing tooth, but leaving a gap in the mouth will cause shifting teeth and many other potential issues, as well as an increased likelihood to lose more teeth in the future.
Failing to replace a missing tooth increases your chance of losing more teeth by up to 30%. We want you to be informed so read on to learn about the consequences of leaving a space where your tooth used to be.
Failing to replace a tooth will cause the surrounding teeth to shift and lean into the space left behind by your missing tooth. This can cause overcrowding and crooked teeth. If children who lose baby teeth too early don’t have the space filled, this can prevent the permanent tooth from having a space to grow into.
Other issues that can occur if you don’t replace a tooth include:
The longer you leave a space between your teeth, the more bone loss can occur, so it is best to replace the tooth as soon as possible. You will typically need to wait a few weeks after extraction before you receive a tooth replacement depending on which type you are interested in, but you should not delay this process.
It is best to have a game plan before your tooth is even extracted. You should consult with your dentist about your tooth replacement options, cost, whether it will be covered by insurance, and how long it will take. Bone loss can occur as soon as 6 weeks after extraction so time is of the essence if you don’t want to have to deal with orthodontic problems and changes to your face.
There are three main replacement options for missing teeth: dental implants, dentures, and bridges. These are all very different procedures that come with different pros and cons. Generally, dental implants are considered the best method of tooth replacement because the implant will fuse with your jawbone and act just like a natural tooth.
The stimulation provided by the implant will also preserve bone and prevent further bone loss, unlike the other two options. Dentures and bridges will still lead to bone loss and changes in the facial structure but they can assist you with aesthetics and functionality.
Dentures are removable sets of artificial teeth that are crafted based on impressions taken of your teeth. These teeth are attached to a pink acrylic base which visually looks like your real gums.
Dental bridges suspend an artificial tooth in between two abutment teeth. The abutment teeth (the teeth next to the space in your mouth) will need to be filed down and fitted with crowns first. A dental bridge connects a series of teeth and is cemented into place with dental cement.
If you need an extraction or have already received one, it’s important to fill the missing space in your mouth so you don’t have to deal with oral health problems, changes in your appearance, and struggle with teeth functionality problems.
At Woburn Dental Associates, we offer many different restorative options such as dental implants, bridges, and dentures. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Marengi to restore your smile.