For an experienced oral surgeon, tooth extractions are routine. And following the procedure with replacement teeth is equally straightforward. But for patients, that’s not always the case.
When you visit Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah for a consultation, our professional team will take the time to address all your concerns. We want you to have a positive, comfortable experience, so we provide explanations, answers and advice.
Are Replacement Teeth Always Needed After Tooth Extractions?
No, tooth replacement isn’t a must after every extraction.
When the wisdom teeth are removed, there’s no need for tooth replacement. The third molars may have been an advantage to our ancestors, but these teeth aren’t necessary in today’s world.
For any other tooth extractions, however, replacement is typically recommended.
Why Are Replacement Teeth Important for Many Tooth Extractions?
Living with missing teeth can bring on a host of oral health problems.
When a tooth is extracted, the neighboring teeth can start to shift into the gap. Eventually, the movement can make the smile look crooked and the bite feel misaligned. Bone tissue in the jaw begins to break down and added stress on the joint can lead to temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder, or TMD.
Tooth replacement can prevent these dental difficulties, while also giving patients confidence in their smiles.
What Are the Options for Replacement Teeth?
Patients who need tooth replacement have three options: dental implants, fixed bridges and removable partial dentures.
Partial dentures are usually the least expensive choice for tooth replacement, but they can be a hassle to clean. In addition, removable dentures are less stable than fixed bridges and dental implants, so many patients find them to be uncomfortable.
Fixed bridges offer better stability than removable partial dentures, and the replacement teeth seem much like natural teeth. But placing a bridge involves cutting down the healthy teeth on both sides of the gap — which puts them at a greater risk of decay and infection.
Dental implants are considered the gold standard option for tooth replacement. Implants look, feel and function just like natural teeth, and placement doesn’t affect the neighboring teeth. And because dental implants fuse with the jawbone, they help prevent future bone loss. The same can’t be said for either partial dentures or fixed bridges.
Plus, with proper care — daily brushing and flossing, along with regular oral health examinations — dental implants can last for a lifetime. Removable partial dentures and fixed bridges, on the other hand, typically need to be replaced at least every 10 to 15 years.
If you have more questions about tooth extractions and tooth replacement, call on the professionals at Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah.
Our highly trained, board-certified oral surgeons are tooth replacement specialists with more than a decade of experience. Contact our Cottonwood Heights, South Jordan or Toole office today to schedule a consultation to learn more about tooth extractions and replacement teeth options.