Over time, teeth can begin to break down with wear and tear or inadequate hygiene. Almost all restorative dental treatment has limitations and will eventually need to be replaced or adjusted. If the old fillings in your teeth have any dark margins, you may have microleakage. Microleakage can lead to decay and the need for root canals or extractions.

When an extraction is necessary, it’s because the structure of the tooth is too weak to support a crown or restoration, or it may be due to the bone loss and periodontal disease within the supporting gingival tissue (gum line).

Tooth Extractions

If a tooth is removed and not replaced with an implant, denture or bridge, several adverse reactions begin to take place. The first is that the facial structures can change. As individuals age, the facial contours that once supported the lips and cheeks can change with muscle atrophy and the effects of gravity, but when there is added tooth loss, the facial structures change drastically. The outcomes are an increased aging effect with noticeable sagging and gaunt like features.

This may seem superficial, but there is an underlying cause that increases health risks and disorders. The underlying cause is bone loss. When a tooth is extracted, the alveolar sac (bone socket) begins to degenerate and the surrounding jaw structure will as well.

Why does this happen? The degeneration of bone is caused by ill equilibration or occlusion of the teeth. When healthy teeth are correctly abutting against each other, it creates pressure and friction on the teeth and surrounding bone. This pressure from biting helps to regenerate bone on a daily basis, keeping teeth and the jaw bone firmly sustained.

One Tooth Extraction Usually Leads to Multiple

When teeth are missing, and there is nothing for the other teeth to bite against, this is when bone loss takes place, and it can happen quite rapidly in both the upper (maxillary) and lower (mandibular) jaw bone. Consequently, the occluding teeth will either drop down or lift up out of the bone, to try and adequately occlude with their natural bite. If this happens, then a person could potentially lose multiple teeth.

What are the Alternatives?

Dental implants are the ideal resolution; it’s a wise choice to have an implant (titanium post and porcelain crown) placed. In addition to preventing bone loss and facial contour changes, if you leave an open space between teeth, the proximal teeth will shift, trying to fill in the interproximal space.

Dental implants can be used to replace one or multiple teeth. Implants are also a remarkable solution for holding in a permanent bridge or as an anchor(s) for dentures.

If there is significant bone loss, bone grafts can help to regenerate the bone that’s been compromised and assure that the implants are securely supported.

One More Reason to Consider Getting Teeth Replaced with Implants:

A study conducted at the University of Japan in Kyushuyth researched older adults with missing teeth and the correlation and risks of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. The conclusion of the study showed significant increases in dementia with those that had multiple teeth removed and not replaced with implants, dentures or bridges. The reason behind these findings are still being studied, but with the ever-increasing disorder in our country (6 million people), staving off cognitive decline is a primary objective for most Americans.

Dental health and proactive measures are essential. Staying on top of your dental health through cleanings, x-rays, and dental examinations are critical to avoid in-depth procedures and to maintain a healthy mouth that’s free of decay, bacteria, and oral cancer. There are multiple treatment options; however, if you need to replace missing teeth, getting dental implants is the best solution for overall health.