For When Your Tooth Can't Be Saved
In some cases, deep decay or a crack can damage a tooth so severely that it cannot be saved. When a tooth is damaged to this extent, it needs to be removed (extracted) from your jaw to prevent future infection.
Although no further treatment after tooth extraction is an option, missing teeth affect your ability to chew, speak, and smile. Missing teeth that are not replaced negatively impact your overall health and can contribute to shifting of other healthy teeth, periodontal disease, and tooth decay. In most cases, extracted teeth should be replaced.
Missing teeth can be replaced in Three Ways
A dental implant is an artificial tooth root, usually made of titanium, that is placed into your jaw in the location of your missing tooth to support an artificial tooth. Dental implants have been successfully used for decades to replace missing teeth. They are often the treatment of choice to replace missing teeth.
A bridge is an appliance that fills in the space created by your missing tooth with an artificial tooth that is permanently cemented to teeth adjacent to the missing tooth. Bridges cannot be removed from the mouth. They are commonly used to replace one or a few missing teeth. While bridges do replace missing teeth, they cause teeth adjacent to the missing tooth to bear the burden of biting forces that were previously supported by your missing tooth. Flossing is a bit more challenging with bridges as well since the replacement tooth is connected to the adjacent teeth.
A removable partial denture is an appliance with artificial teeth that can be removed from your mouth. This option can be used when replacing many missing teeth in the same jaw. Please ask your dentist for further information if you are interested in this option.