There are a variety of reasons a tooth extraction may be performed. It’s important to know that this decision carries a number of consequences.
Time is the enemy, in that if the situation is left untreated, the adjacent teeth gradually shift in an attempt to close the gap. These natural movements cause a series of problems that aggravate the initial situation. The shifting teeth create new spaces between other teeth, where food can get caught and build up. These spaces become difficult to maintain and are susceptible to penetration by cavity-causing bacteria and to gum disease, which over the long term can lead to bone loss.
What’s more, the antagonist (the tooth in the opposing jaw) starts to separate from its socket in an attempt to search for its former point of contact. The gum around this tooth recedes, often causing it greater sensitivity due to exposure of part of the root, as well as a loss of sturdiness. This phenomenon generally continues until the tooth finds another point of contact or falls out.
Furthermore, chewing with fewer teeth increases the workload of the remaining teeth and can lead to premature wear. The loss of bone structure, both of the mouth and the face, is another consideration, and sagging of the facial support tissues is a sign of premature aging.
A variety of solutions exist for the replacement of one or more missing teeth. A dental implant is usually the optimal solution, because it helps preserve the bone in the area of the lost tooth. In that sense, it is comparable to the natural tooth. Other options include installing a bridge or wearing a removable prosthesis.
Talk to your dental professional. He or she will be able to advise you and answer all your questions about each solution. For all these reasons, it is critical that you get informed before opting for extraction.