Many people have had to experience having a tooth or teeth removed over the course of their lives. With the exception of wisdom teeth, losing teeth can lead to many different issues that can have negative consequences over time. Some of these issues can be more severe than others. For the vast majority of patients losing a front tooth is the worst area to have a gap. Losing a posterior tooth may not seem like a big deal to some but a posterior tooth is just as important as an anterior tooth.
Some of the consequences of losing teeth are:
- Shifting of teeth
- Loss of bone at the extraction site
- Reduced chewing efficiency
- Increased wear on other teeth
- Esthetic deficiencies of the face and/or smile
- Increased risk of soft tissue trauma
- Increased difficulty in hygiene
- Increased risk of TMJ problems
This list is not by any means complete; there are more things that I can place in this list but time and space limits keep me from doing so. If you or someone you know and love have had the misfortune of needing to remove teeth there are options that can restore the missing teeth. There are basically 3 options to doing so depending on the situation.
- Dental implants
- Fixed bridges
- Removable bridges
Three options are available to replace missing teeth and yet hundreds of different ways to apply these methods. In the next few blog entries, I will talk about each of these tooth-replacing options in more detail.