The great thing about extracting baby teeth in kids is that an adult tooth descends soon after. When adults need a tooth extracted, there’s no additional natural tooth that’s going to come out and take its place. The question is then what to do about that gap? Not everyone cares about how that gap or missing tooth looks aesthetically. But a bigger concern is what will happen to the jaw and other teeth alignment.
What changes in the jaw after extraction?
When a tooth is extracted or comes out under other circumstances, the adjacent teeth likely will not stay in place. With empty room next to them, they’ll probably start shifting over and can even rotate their position. When teeth are butted up next to each other, there’s not as much room to move, so they generally stay put.
Functionally, the teeth next to the empty space lose some of their support. The chewing process changes with the gap, putting different pressure on the remaining teeth. That can also impact their stability and sometimes cause them to lean over. Teeth in the opposite part of the jaw might extrude further, as there’s now more room to descend.
What are your options?
Bridge: Attaching a bridge is a good option for many. The abutting teeth are prepared for a crown before the bridge is placed. The bridge eliminates the gap and provides a permanent solution, stabilizing the teeth and the bite.
Dental implants: Sometimes the bone and gums are in good condition, and your dentist might recommend a dental implant. This is a titanium root replacement inserted into the bone. It takes months for this to heal, as the bone needs to grow around it. The dentist then screws an abutment onto the implant, and later fits a custom crown on this. This is a great solution for maintaining a permanent tooth, but the process is long and not all bones and gums are amenable to it.
Dentures: Another option is a removable, partial denture. Your dentist can get a custom-made natural-looking denture which attaches to your permanent teeth. The denture is removable, and can aptly fill the gap without anyone knowing the difference.
If you need a tooth extracted and want to know more about your options for replacement, talk to your dentist in St. Petersburg FL. An emergency dentist or regular dentist can you talk you through the pros and cons of each option and let you know the latest restoration techniques in dentistry. For people who are uncomfortable getting dental treatment, especially when it might require removing a tooth, find a dentist offering sedation dentistry, which is a safe and effective option to ensure that you get the dental treatment you need.