What happens if I lose a tooth and don’t replace it?

Killara Dental Policies

The consequences of losing Teeth

So you had to have a back tooth removed, does it really matter if you didn’t replace it? Perhaps unexpectedly, the answer is: Yes, it does!

While many people do not consider losing a tooth be critical, especially if it not one of their front teeth, the long term consequences of tooth loss can be quite serious.

The real problem with tooth loss isn’t esthetic (although that’s certainly an important consideration) – its the bone loss that comes with it. The alveolar bone, which surrounds the teeth, requires regular stimulation in order to stay healthy. Without such stimulation – which comes from tiny stresses transmitted by the teeth themselves – the bone gradually melts away. Tooth loss can cause a 25% decrease in bone width in the first year alone, and more in subsequent years.

Teeth are meant to work together as a team and if any of your teeth (with the possible exception of your wisdom teeth or those removed for orthodontic treatment) are lost, your remaining teeth will be jeopardised as a result.

The effects of tooth loss, beside the cosmetic as when a missing tooth shows as you smile or your face appears gaunt due to lack of cheek support, are many and harmful. They include; malocclusion, periodontal problems, hypereruption, speech defects, fillings lost from or fracture of your remaining teeth and TMJ problems among others. These difficulties can have real and adverse consequences on the quality of your life.

You only have one set of permanent teeth and you should do everything you reasonably can to protect and maintain them. This begins with prevention. No health care is more effective than prevention. To prevent problems before they occur is the easiest and most cost effective means of preserving your natural teeth. Its imperative that you see Dr Linda at least twice a year every year for cleanings, exams and necessary X-rays. At home you must follow up on oral care instructions and diet advice that has been recommended for you. In this way your risk for the problems that can end in tooth loss is minimised.

To prevent tooth loss early detection and treatment of problems such as decay and gum problems can stabilise the teeth and allow you to continue to keep them. Also root canal therapy and placing a crown may be an option if the tooth becomes infected or cracked to prevent their removal.

In the event the teeth have to be removed, they can be replaced with dentures or for a long term functional solution, dental implants. Because the dental implant actually becomes fused to the living bone, it helps keep bone healthy and functional – and it looks great too! To discuss any of these treatment book in to see Dr Linda today! Contact us 


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