When facing tooth removal, most patients will want to move forward with replacing those teeth as quickly as possible. Therefore, it’s wise to begin planning for your tooth replacement treatment while you are preparing for the extraction, if possible.
Your oral surgeon can educate you on the various devices that are available to fill in for missing teeth so that you can carefully weigh the pros and cons of each method.
Dental implants come closest to replicating the entire structure of an absent tooth. With a root-like structure that is fixed into the jaw and supports the prosthetic crown, bridge or denture, a dental implant looks and feels quite similar to a biological tooth. It also helps to preserve the integrity of the jawbone, which will otherwise wear away after tooth removal.
Other options available after tooth removal include dental bridges and partial or full dentures. These appliances do not replace the roots of the absent teeth, so the jaw will atrophy and likely require the device to be refitted or replaced as the jaw’s shape changes. Additionally, an appliance without a connection to the jaw may be less efficient at chewing.
The potential for bone loss after tooth loss can influence the timing of your treatment. If you want to pursue dental implants, it’s important to have adequate bone material at the implant site to support osseointegration. If you wait too long, you may not have enough bone left.
Nonetheless, some patients may still be eligible for dental implants even if they’ve delayed treatment. A technique called All-on-4 uses just four implants to secure an entire denture, and those implants are placed near the front of the jaw, where the bone is thickest. A bone graft may also help patients to qualify for implant placement after bone loss. Your surgeon can discuss your options with you.
You have many options to replace your missing teeth after extraction. Thoroughly discuss your choices with your oral surgeon to determine which is best for you. Consider the fit and function of all the devices, as well as their long-term costs. Our expert surgeons at Austin Oral Surgery are happy to answer any questions that you may have.