If you visit the dentist and find out that you need a tooth extracted, your dentist might suggest replacing it. Dentists do not remove teeth unless they have no other options, and living with a gap is not a good idea. When you have a gap from a missing tooth, you might experience problems. Here is an explanation of why dentists try to save teeth and recommend replacing them and the three ways to replace a missing tooth.
Why Dentists Try to Save Teeth
Real teeth are always better than artificial teeth, which is why dentists try to save real teeth. Teeth can develop many problems, and a dentist can fix most of them. At some point, a tooth might have to be removed, though, as a dentist cannot repair it. If there is ever a chance that the dentist can save a tooth, they will try that first.
Problems With Gaps
If your dentist cannot fix a tooth due to the severe nature of the issues, they might recommend removing it. The benefit of removing it is that tooth extraction helps prevent infections with a bad tooth. The downside is that it leaves a gap in your mouth. A gap in your mouth is prone to issues, such as gum disease and loss of jawbone. Gaps also look bad, depending on where they are. A gap can also result in teeth shifting. Gaps are not good, and your dentist will recommend replacing the missing tooth.
Ways to Replace Missing Teeth
You can choose from three main options for replacing a tooth, and your dentist might tell you which is best for your situation. The first option is through a dental implant, which is a permanent fixture once complete. Dental implants use the person's jawbone to hold an artificial tooth in place. A dental implant might cost the most but will last the longest.
A dental bridge is the second choice. This option requires using other teeth and might not be an option if the missing tooth has only one tooth next to it. A bridge places an artificial tooth in a gap by connecting it to its neighboring teeth. Partial removable dentures are the third option, and dentists recommend this primarily when people have more than one missing tooth.
Getting a tooth extracted is something you might not be able to avoid. If you must go through this, talk to your dentist about the possible tooth-replacement options.