The ultimate goal of proper dental care is to help individuals retain their entire teeth for a lifetime. However, for a variety of reasons, some teeth may have to be extracted, leaving unsightly gaps and compromising the health of the remaining teeth and the gums.
Tooth extractions are done for the following reasons:
• Severe decay
• Medical reasons causing rapid tooth deterioration
• Broken off tooth structure that cannot be replaced
• Impacted wisdom teeth (third molars)
• Supernumerary (extra) teeth affecting the function of the mouth
Not all cases require replacements, but in the event of multiple extractions, proper dental treatment is recommended to recapture the aesthetics and function of the mouth. If proper steps are not implemented, tooth loss may lead to:
• Migration of the remaining teeth into the empty spaces causing problems with alignment
• Deep pockets around existing teeth, leading to gum disease due to the harbored bacteria
• Warped smile line and poor cosmetic value
• Erosion of the adjacent teeth and resorption of the soft tissue resulting in additional tooth loss
Methods of Tooth Replacement
The most effective teeth replacements are implants. Although the procedure may be somewhat lengthy, it provides long-lasting results and superb aesthetics. Implants also serve as natural teeth as they are durable and strong enough to withstand the force of daily oral functions. Depending on the number of missing teeth, single or multiple implants can be placed and combined with crowns, bridges, or dentures.