If you have had a tooth extraction and are considering a tooth replacement, you may be facing 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.
Not only does a missing tooth detract from the smile’s important work of chewing. The absent tooth played an important role in processing food, and forces may shift it onto adjoining teeth. Those excess chewing forces have to the potential to damage the remaining teeth in the vicinity.
Your 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.
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.