Extractions : There are times when unfortunately there is no choice but to extract a tooth. However every effort should be made to avoid extraction and where it is unavoidable a tooth should be replaced in a timely fashion.
Consequences of tooth extraction
Aesthetic problems. Missing teeth are considered by most people to be unsightly. This is less of a problem with back teeth but even their loss will be noticeable when a person gives there biggest smile.
Eating/function. It is only after a tooth is lost that a person can judge how much of an effect this tooth loss has on their ability to eat. Losing a tooth from the upper arch also means that its opposing tooth in the lower arch is no longer in function either, extracting 1 tooth usually means you lose the use of 2 teeth.
Bite problems (occlusal instability). The loss of one tooth will make the loss of others much more likely.
Teeth are arranged in an arch so that they give support to one another, just like with a stone arch above a door or window. The loss of a tooth from the dental arch weakens the remaining teeth as they are left without the support of their neighbors.
The loss of a tooth will also result in drifting of the adjacent and opposing teeth. This opens up spaces between teeth, making the remaining teeth more difficult to keep clean resulting in a much increased risk of tooth decay and gum disease and making their loss more likely.
Removing teeth means that extra force is transmitted to the teeth that remain. This can result in the overloading of the remaining teeth. This can present as wear, chipping or fracture of the remaining teeth. In patients who also have gum disease this will often result in drifting of the remaining teeth, the front teeth will be pushed forwards, gaps start to open and what was previously an attractive smile can unfortunately start to look unsightly.
In order to prevent the unfortunate consequence of tooth extraction it is necessary to replace lost teeth in a timely manner.
Where possibly a dental implant is usually the best way of replacing a missing tooth. Teeth can also be replaced by dentures or by a bridge.
If a dental implant is going to be used to replace a missing tooth it is important to do this as soon as possible. This is because the bone that supported the tooth is necessary to hold the dental implant. This bone disappears once the tooth is extracted and delay can make implant placement more complicated, less aesthetic and in some cases impossible.