When a tooth is extracted, it may leave a gap in your smile that can impact your appearance and oral health. You may be wondering if you need to replace a tooth that has been extracted. The short answer is yes, it is important to replace a missing tooth to prevent further dental issues. Here is what you should know:
What Happens When a Tooth Is Removed?
When a tooth is missing, the surrounding teeth can shift out of place, leading to a misaligned bite. This can cause problems with chewing and speaking, and can also put extra stress on your remaining teeth, leading to additional dental problems. In addition, missing teeth can cause bone loss in the jaw, which can impact the overall structure of your face.
How Should You Replace a Tooth?
There are several options for replacing a missing tooth, including dental implants, bridges, and dentures. The right option for you will depend on your specific situation and the condition of your teeth and gums.
Dental implants are a popular option for replacing missing teeth. They are durable and long-lasting, and function like natural teeth. Dental implants include the process of surgically placing a post into the jawbone. The post then fuses with the bone over a period of time. An artificial tooth is then attached to the post, creating a natural-looking and functional replacement tooth.
Bridges are another option for replacing a missing tooth. A bridge is a fixed dental restoration that is anchored to the surrounding teeth or dental implants. The bridge is composed of a replacement tooth or teeth and is designed to fit in with the natural shape and color of your teeth.
Dentures are a removable option for replacing missing teeth. They can be either full or partial and are composed of artificial teeth attached to a base that resembles the gums. Dentures are designed to fit comfortably in your mouth and can improve your ability to chew and speak.
Regardless of which option you choose, it is important to replace a missing tooth as soon as possible to prevent further dental problems. In addition, replacing a missing tooth can improve your overall oral health and prevent other dental issues from occurring in the future. If you have had a tooth removed, consider asking a dentist—such as Dr. Jon Douglas Lesan, DDS, RpH, PA—about which replacement option would be best for your needs. You and your dentist can work together to choose the best option for you.