Earlier, if you had cavities, you got the affected tooth removed. Nowadays we have more options instead of just getting the tooth removed. But people still opt for getting them removed at times, maybe because they can’t afford better treatment. Or, like one of the patients I came across recently, who got her teeth removed since she was studying and didn’t have the time for multiple appointments required for root canal treatment. Or, it could be that your tooth is so badly affected, that it has to be removed.
But what many people don’t realize is that it is important to get the missing teeth replaced as well. The teeth being removed most commonly at present are for orthodontic purposes. The space created in this case will be closed by the adjacent teeth during the process of the treatment. Another tooth being removed commonly are the third molars. These need to be replaced only if you have been using them for chewing (since most of the third molars removed are impacted in the bone and have not erupted). Below are a few reasons describing why you should replace missing teeth:
- As long as there are intact opposing teeth and adjacent teeth, a missing tooth has to be replaced. This is because, it is the contact with nearby teeth that keeps the teeth in position. When there is a gap, the tooth from the opposite arch starts to migrate towards the open space, changing the alignment of the teeth. The adjacent teeth also move out of alignment, and into the space created by the missing tooth. This can affect the esthetics of your smile in the long run.
- For proper jaw function and chewing efficacy, it is necessary to get the missing teeth replaced. When the tooth is not there, it means a lot of food can get stuck there in the gap, which can affect the health of the remaining teeth if not cleaned properly. You will also find it difficult to chew food, especially if it is a posterior tooth you are missing. So what do we do? Most of the time we try to chew with one side alone, the one which has all the teeth intact. This eventually affects the health of your jaw and the jaw muscles.
So don’t put off getting your tooth replaced. There are many options available nowadays for teeth replacement. Check with your dentist as to which option may be the best for you.