Are you missing a tooth from having an extraction performed?
Did you know that for each missing tooth you have, you lose about 10% of your ability to chew your food? Typically, adults have 28-32 teeth (this will depend on whether you have had your wisdom teeth removed or not). This may lead to either placing more stress on the other teeth in order to chew all the food you eat, or you do not chew well enough and what is swallowed is not quite ready to be digested. This can lead to digestive difficulty. You may end up having to eliminate certain foods because you cannot chew them thoroughly.
Other problems also occur. The teeth that are adjacent to the space left by the missing tooth will eventually shift. The teeth on either side of the missing tooth space will move and/or tilt off their proper vertical axis and drift into the missing tooth’s space. This can make these teeth more prone to decay and gum disease because it is much harder to keep the teeth clean when they are not aligned properly.
If multiple teeth are lost, there are other major problems that can occur. There is a loss of the arch length, the distance from the back of the last tooth on one side of your mouth to the back of the last tooth on the other side of your mouth. With collapsed bite and loss of vertical dimension, the distance from your chin to the tip of your nose decreases, making your face shorter. The facial muscles of the cheeks and mouth sink into the extraction site. There can also be severe cosmetic problems when the extracted tooth’s space is visible when you talk or smile.
The longer you wait after a tooth is extracted, the more difficult and expensive it can be to make the replacement you need. With very few exceptions, it is better to replace missing teeth as soon as possible. We will make recommendations on what procedure is best to follow to replace your extracted tooth.
You have a couple of different options when it comes to dental implant replacements, each patient is different, and we provide a consultation to walk you through your options and what would be best for your individual situation. You can have a fixed replacement made that could be an implant, a conventional bridge (crowns/caps), a dental implant overdenture or a combination of implants and bridges. The advantages of the fixed replacements are that they are not designed to come out of your mouth at any time, they are the easiest to live with, feel more like the original teeth, and are more cosmetic than removable dentures.
A removable partial denture is held in place by metal clasps that may be visible. It is bulkier and may interfere with your speech for a period of time as you get used to it. Generally, dentures do cost less than a fixed replacement would.
Your jawbone and teeth were meant to function in a particular fashion. The interaction is complex and marvelous. Loss of teeth degrades this function. Preserve your health and in the long run, your appearance. Replace lost teeth as soon as possible.