Losing a single tooth can lead to many consequences, both short term and long term, and it is important that we consider these very carefully when deciding how to replace the missing tooth.
Implants are most commonly used to replace single teeth or to fill a small gap where several adjacent teeth are missing.
One of the advantages of dental implants is that they look and feel natural because they fit directly into your gum in the same way as natural teeth do.
What happens if the space where the tooth was removed is left, however?
Here we can see a photograph of a patient who did exactly that. She had a tooth removed over two years ago, and chose to leave the space at that time.
The photograph is showing:
- The space in front of the missing tooth has opened up, and this is now visible and unsightly when the patient smiles. She is also getting food getting stuck between her teeth due to the presence of these spaces.
- This space is where the tooth was initially removed. There is now not enough space ideally for a molar implant replacement in this area.
- The space behind the missing has also opened up, and is causing food trapping as can be seen in the photo.
Food trapping between teeth can lead to cavities, gum disease, and increased risk of loss of teeth as a result.
If this patient now wanted to replace the missing tooth with a dental implant, she would need to improve the alignment of her teeth using orthodontic treatment, and then a dental implant could be placed. This means having to undergo a more complex treatment plan, not to mention additional costs and time.
It would have been much more efficient and better for her overall dental health to simply have had an implant placed straight after the extraction was done.
To talk about your suitability for dental implants, please call us on 0113 263 2960, or send an e-mail to [email protected]
Blog written by Dr Sanaa Kader, 31/01/2021