Tooth Extraction: What happens if I decide not to replace a missing tooth?

tooth extraction CharlottesvilleFollowing a tooth extraction, patients face the sometimes difficult decision of how to replace the missing tooth and whether to do so at all.

The case for replacing a natural tooth after tooth extraction is a strong one. Patients can suffer a number of negative consequences if they decide against tooth replacement.

A missing tooth detracts from the smile’s important work of chewing. The absent tooth played an important role in processing food, and forces may shift onto adjoining teeth. Those excess chewing forces have to the potential to damage the remaining teeth in the vicinity.

The patient’s appearance also suffers as a result of tooth loss. Not only is an empty space quite noticeable in a smile, the remaining teeth may shift to fill in the gap, throwing off the alignment of the rest of the smile.

To avoid such outcomes, many patients do decide to get some sort of device to fill in the empty space after tooth extraction. Regardless of whether the extraction is a surgical one, your oral surgeon can provide guidance on your treatment options for a replacement tooth.

Dental implants have become a particularly popular intervention for tooth loss. These devices essentially act like artificial tooth roots, giving the patient a choice of a more structurally complete replacement tooth. Not only does a dental implant provide a replacement tooth with a lifelike appearance, it also preserves much of the functionality that the biological tooth contributed in the smile.

Other alternatives include dental bridges and dentures. While these appliances may serve adequately in completing the tooth’s aesthetics, they don’t offer the same level of functionality that dental implants do. But even a dental bridge can limit shifting of the remaining teeth following a tooth extraction.

After undergoing a tooth extraction, patients should seriously consider their options for replacement teeth and move forward with the chosen treatment as soon as possible. Consult with our skilled oral surgeon at Charlottesville Oral Surgery & Implant Center to learn more about your treatment options. Call 434-295-0911 today to schedule your visit.