Learning that you will need to have a tooth pulled can be a very scary moment. Wisdom teeth extraction is one thing, but when the tooth is being pulled due to infection or damage of some kind, there are other considerations to be made. The gap left as a result of a tooth being pulled can create problems for the nearby teeth. There are a few options for those who have a tooth extracted. With the right information, you can make a wise decision and enjoy your smile once again.
Option One: Do Nothing
Although it isn’t recommended, you can make the choice to have nothing done to fill the gap in your teeth. There are some side effects of this decision that you should be aware of, however. The biggest concern is how the other teeth will shift as a result of the gap. The space can allow for neighboring teeth to shift or even fall. This can result in a crooked smile, titled teeth, and a poor bite. It can ultimately lead to jaw soreness as well, if the teeth shift too much or if the movement causes an awkward bit pattern. Additionally, bone loss is a concern that will undoubtedly be mentioned. This can also weaken the hold on adjacent teeth increasing the risk of future tooth loss. The advantage of doing nothing, of course, is that there is no additional expense incurred.
Option Two: Bridge
This is what many would consider the ‘traditional approach’ to replacing a missing tooth. By grinding down the two teeth adjacent to the gap, the dentist can create ‘posts’ that will hold the false teeth that will be used to fill the space. This is considered a relatively inexpensive solution that will prevent many of the problems mentioned in the previous section. The downside is that two anchor teeth must be ground down in order to serve the purpose. That leaves them at risk of future damage. It also doesn’t address the problem of potential bone loss detailed above.
Option Three: Implants
These are a more recent development, which is meant to address all of the concerns faced with the first two options. Implants are the best choice for those who want to prevent possible complications linked with bone loss and shift teeth. A metal post is implanted in the bone and is used to hold a crown in place permanently. Neither of the adjacent teeth should be damaged in the process, and because the bone has something to hold onto, it is less apt to deteriorate. This does, however, tend to be the costliest option, but most consider it a worthwhile expense.
These options should be carefully discussed with your dentist before determining which is best for you.