Teeth can be lost for many reasons; ultimately there are a number of options for replacement with each set of options being unique for each individual. In some circumstances leaving the missing tooth space as is, may be a perfectly sound option; however, there are a few things to consider long term if the space is left.

The Missing Tooth: What Can Happen If A Tooth is Extracted and the Space is Left?

  • Loss of Bone – Around the area where the tooth is extracted the bone will being to be resorbed over-time. This occurs very rapidly after the tooth is extracted. The resorption starts to level off around three months and then proceeds very slowly.
  • Loss of Soft tissue – There will also be a modest loss of soft tissue in the associated area.
  • Food trap – In some cases it may be easier to clean adjacent teeth. Whereas in others the new space may result in a plaque, food trap or decay (if there is associated risk).

    The Missing Tooth

    The Missing Tooth

  • Occlusal pattern – The nature of the bite may change over time, as teeth being to move to fill the missing space. This can cause a change in the intended long access of force distribution. The rate of change and or amount are highly variable per individual. This will depend on the many factors and the nature of the occlusion.
  • Periodontal issues – May be enhanced as the misalignment of the remaining teeth may create areas of plaque and calculus formation. Further, resulting in more difficult areas to clean.
  • TMJ (Jaw Joint) issues– In the short term or long term, the change of occlusal pattern may result in change in musculature; this may lead to changing in the hinge access and result in inflammation or pain associated with the TMJ.
  • Psychological issues – Potential issues in social settings if the tooth is in the aesthetic area; and the subsequent misalignment of remaining teeth may result.
  • Other Potential Issues:
    • Potential loss of Occlusal vertical dimension
    • Opening of proximal contacts
    • Uneven adjacent marginal ridges
    • Development of plunger cusps
    • Food impaction
    • Lack of functional cleaning

Finally, If you would like more information regarding Missing Teeth and replacement options please do not hesitate to contact Skygate Dental today on (07) 3114 1199 or 0406 579 197.