In this blog we will look at what happens when a tooth is removed and how to best treat the condition.
Why would you need tooth removal?
Teeth can need removing for several reasons. It is our belief that keeping your tooth in its place is the best option and we will only recommend the removal of a tooth when necessary. The many reasons for removal of a tooth range from infections, deep decay, gum disease to loose teeth.
As this diagram shows the roots of the tooth are surrounded by bone. This bone called the alveolar bone only exists because the tooth is present. Once the tooth is removed the bone will start disappearing.
In some patients the bone will disappear very quickly while in others it will take many years. Important thig to remember is that the bone disappears very quickly straight after the tooth is removed and with time slows down.
This is why we always ask patients to think about the options for replacing the tooth ideally before removing the tooth. This give the best chance to preserve the bone.
So why is it important to preserve the bone?
Primarily this is to preserve the appearance of your smile and if many teeth are lost appearance your face.
The gum line should look symmetric across the midline of the face and in harmony with the size and shape of each tooth and lips.
Now look what happens when the gum line is not even.
How can we replace missing teeth and avoid an unsightly smile?
There are three main options to replace missing teeth.
This is a simple and cost effective way to replace missing teeth and we can add pink acrylic to replace any missing bone and gum. However, dentures are removable and high maintenance. They can be loose and food can accumulate under the denture. The pink acrylic often does not match the gum shade. It does not preserve the bone and will need replacing occasionally.
Fixed and adhesive Bridge:
A bridge is fixed and does not need removing daily but needs good healthy teeth adjacent to the gap. In a fixed bridge one or both adjacent teeth next to the gap will need cutting down to an extent that 10% to 30% of the nerves can die and infection will occur. The adhesive bridge does not require aggressive cutting and is glued onto the adjacent tooth.
The main disadvantage is that they can come off and only the dentist will be able to fix it for you which means you could have a gap for a few days. A bridges is not very effective at replacing the lost gum and bone. As a result the bridged tooth can look longer such as the image above. It also does not preserve the bone and a gap can appear underneath the bridge which can be unsightly.
Is a great way to replace missing teeth. This is as close to replacing your own natural tooth as technology allows. Advantages include that they are fixed and do not need daily removal, they feel look and feel like your own teeth, adjacent teeth do not need cutting down and you can bite confidently without the worry that they will come loose.
This is the only way out of the options available that bone and gum will be preserved. Survival rates can be as high at 95% which is pretty good. This option is the main reason that dentist needs to know before or very soon after a tooth is removed which gives us the best chance of making it look good and to avoid extra treatment.
Don’t worry though if you have had a missing tooth for a while or want to move on from a bridge or a denture there are multiple techniques we can use to regrow your bone and gums.
Dr Kaderbhai has experience and extensive training in replacing missing teeth while Dr Charadva has a specialist interest in Implant Dentistry.
Dr Raja is our brilliant cosmetic dentist. With his input we can transform smiles.
Carillon Dental Care is at the centre of replacing missing teeth and Melisa our treatment co-ordinator would be happy do discuss your needs with you. Melisa is also able to arrange a free initial consultation if you are keen on replacing missing teeth at Carillon.
Hope to see you soon!