There are a number of ways to replace a missing tooth. These prosthetic teeth can be as beautiful and functional as the original tooth (or even better).
It is important to note that it is easiest to replace a tooth immediately following an extraction. After a tooth has been extracted, the adjacent teeth may shift towards the empty space to compensate for the missing tooth, shrinking the space available. In addition, the jawbone will remodel once a tooth has been removed, shrinking in dimension. Over time, as there is less space and bone strength to work with, replacing a tooth may require the assistance of a dental specialist to ensure success.
There are a number of instances in which extraction may be the best course of action, but the three most common are: advanced periodontal disease, advanced decay and trauma that damages the tooth beyond repair. In those situations, it becomes the most prudent course of treatment to extract the tooth or teeth in order to prevent further damage to the surrounding teeth and gums.
When a tooth is extracted, the adjacent teeth shift partway into the empty space to compensate and the jawbone shrinks in dimension. Because of these effects, it is best to replace a tooth immediately following extraction in order to have the maximum space and jaw strength available. Treatment options vary between patients, but can include the placement and restoration of a dental implant, a dental bridge or a partial denture.
In some cases, teeth may be impacted or difficult to remove, such as some wisdom teeth. In these instances we work together with the oral surgery office and would refer you to them for specific extractions, if needed. They are trained and equipped for these cases and are also able to provide general anesthetic if required.