Filling in the empty space left behind after tooth loss or a tooth extraction involves a commitment of time and some expense on the patient’s part, so it can be tempting to just forego replacing the missing tooth entirely.
This is especially true when the tooth loss occurs in a spot in the smile that’s not particularly visible. Some patients wonder why they should even bother getting a replacement for a tooth that no one can see anyway.
However, postponing tooth replacement can have significant consequences for the patient’s appearance and oral health. Therefore, it is recommended that patients consider dental implants or some other tooth replacement device.
…postponing tooth replacement can have significant consequences for the patient’s appearance and oral health.
First of all, after the loss of a tooth the remaining teeth are likely to shift toward the empty space in an attempt to fill it. This can be detrimental to the smile’s overall alignment.
However, when a dentist places a dental implant, that implant prevents the other teeth from encroaching on the empty space.
Also, the patient’s jawbone will slowly wear away in the vicinity where tooth loss has occurred. Over time, this can compromise the stability of adjacent teeth.
Dental implants can also be helpful in limiting the effects of jawbone atrophy. Structurally, they serve as a replacement for a biological tooth’s root. That root is essential in stabilizing the jaw. Other tooth replacement devices, like partial dentures or dental bridges, do not have any similar structure that fills in for the absent tooth’s root.
When a missing tooth is not replaced, neighboring teeth can also be subjected to chewing forces that are stronger that what they are designed to withstand. This, too, can damage remaining teeth following tooth loss.
In order to reduce their chances of negative outcomes following tooth loss, patients should develop a plan to replace a missing tooth as soon as possible. Contact Fresh Leaf Dental at 714-838-8050 to learn about your various treatment options, and be sure to ask about the risks and benefits associated with each method.