Missing teeth are more than a cosmetic issue. They can often create a space that may be difficult to clean and lead to problems like bone loss or decay surrounding the healthy teeth. It is common to find one or more missing back teeth. It is also falsely believed that teeth that are not in the smile line do not need replacement. People almost always regret their decision NOT to replace missing teeth after they have experienced the following side effects
Surrounding teeth misalignment
Because teeth alignment are supported by each other, once a tooth is removed, the whole equilibrium disrupts. The body will attempt to correct the equilibrium by creating unwanted tooth movement towards the gap. As a result, surrounding teeth will tilt towards the gap, and opposing teeth become longer. These changes will create a domino effect on all the remaining teeth, contributing towards a crooked smile, bite issues, TMJ changes, headaches, etc. Misaligned teeth are invariably more difficult to clean, leading to decay and gum disease, which may further lead to loss of other teeth, hence repeating the cycle.
The presence of teeth works as a stimulus for the jawbone to maintain its volume and vitality. In the case of missing teeth, the jaw bone starts to atrophy, leading to loss of bone volume. Significant loss of bone volume will make jaw bone less stable to support the remaining teeth, prone to fracture, and eventually alter the shape of your face and your smile.
The most common ways to replace a missing tooth are:
1. Dental Implant
2. Dental Bridge
3. Removable Partial/Complete Denture
Implant dentistry has revolutionized dentistry, and it is the best option to replace missing teeth. This option would feel and act the most like a natural tooth while chewing, smiling, or brushing. When smiling or talking, most can’t tell the difference between the natural tooth and an implant.
Implants are a secure alternative to removable dentures. Occasionally it can be the best option if the loss of teeth has caused the mouth to shrink and can no longer support dentures. They recreate the basic structure of a tooth. It is a titanium screw fit in place of the root part of a tooth. An implant can replace a missing tooth, and as few as four implants can replace all the upper and lower jaw teeth. This is dependent on the size of your jawbone. Hence, this option would feel like a natural tooth while chewing, smiling, or brushing.
2. Dental Bridge
Dental bridges are pretty much as the name suggests. They bridge the gap created by one or more missing teeth. The bridge attaches against the existing teeth on either side. Bridges are best suited when one to three consecutive teeth are missing.
Dental bridges are the second best choice to replace missing teeth. With appropriate care, bridges can last for several decades.
3. Removable Partial/Complete denture
Full denture can replace all teeth in the mouth, whereas partial denture replaces a few missing teeth. They are removal options, where patients can take dentures out themselves. Your dentures are custom-made to fit your smile comfortably, aesthetically, and stably.
Dentures are made of a special kind of plastic or porcelain. They can replace one or all of your teeth. It is the least costly way for replacing teeth. .The usual life cycle of dentures is about 5-7 years. Our office uses the latest advancements in dentistry to replicate the missing teeth with dentures that look natural and are the best for you.
Tooth Replacement after an Extraction Is Necessary
Here at Prime dentistry, we recommend thinking twice before deciding to go for extraction. We see patients making poor-judgment calls of getting a painful tooth removed because of financial limitations. This tooth which otherwise may be completely salvageable hence we would like you to think again. Even though removing teeth is NOT costly compared to other treatments such as root canal, and crowns, in the long run, replacing that tooth with the same function and aesthetics, would be costlier, with more complex treatment.
However, if the tooth is NOT salvageable, and we need to remove the tooth, we strongly recommend socket preservation (bone graft) at the same time of extraction.
Socket Preservation (Bone Graft)
A socket preservation graft is a kind of bone graft that is used to fill an extraction socket. It is a critical part of the healing process because it helps the patient recover quicker while helping prevent a throbbing condition called dry socket. A socket preservation bone graft must be placed at the time of tooth extraction. It is also a surgery most used by dentists all over before a dental implant surgery because a lot of patients who need to undergo the procedure don’t have enough bone mass to support the implant.
However, bone graft is not necessary after tooth extraction but it sure helps. The socket preservation bone graft helps with procedures like dental implants as stated above and additionally with dental bridges and dentures too. A bone graft usually consists of a variety of materials that ranges from human bone to synthetic materials. Once the graft is in place, it is generally covered with a preservative layer that is sutured close.
The primary function of socket preservation is to maintain bone volume in the area of tooth extraction. The goal is to get the new bone to amalgamate with the existing bone and invigorate the regeneration of the lost bone inside the jaw. To find out more about our bone grafting procedure and other high-quality implant treatments, contact us or schedule an appointment.