Sometimes a tooth extraction is necessary to maintain dental health. After an extraction, your dentist may suggest dental implant surgery, and it’s understandable that the procedure may seem a little daunting at first. There is nothing wrong with asking why your dentist recommends dental implants and the possible alternatives to traditional implants.
When Do You Need a Tooth Extracted?
Sometimes a tooth extraction is unavoidable. You may need to get an extraction if you’ve experienced any of the following dental issues:
- Crowded due to wisdom teeth
- Misaligned teeth
- Extreme tooth decay
Wisdom teeth crowding is one of the most common reasons for a tooth extraction. Many dentists and orthodontists recommend patients get wisdom teeth removed. Many people experience crowding of teeth and discomfort from wisdom teeth. In this case, you may need an extraction, but you wouldn’t need a dental implant.
Misaligned teeth can also be cause for an extraction. Sometimes a tooth grows in the wrong direction and cannot be straightened. It often causes crowding and discomfort in the jaw. Depending on the situation, you may need to get a dental implant to replace the extracted tooth.
When a tooth has extreme decay and a root canal cannot be performed, the tooth must also be extracted. In this case, your dentist may recommend a dental implant to fill the space the tooth left behind.
Why You Might Need a Dental Implant
There are many reasons my your dentist may recommend getting a dental implant. Some of these reasons include:
- Preventing your teeth from shifting
- Maintain jawbone health
- Chewing foods
- Preserve your facial structure
When your dentist removes a tooth (or several teeth), your other teeth may shift into the space that your removed tooth left behind. To prevent this from happening, your dentist may recommend a dental implant to act as a spacer between your other teeth.
Your jawbone needs teeth to stay healthy and strong. When you lose a tooth, your jawbone could deteriorate without the support from the removed tooth.
Your teeth are in your jaw for one main reason: to help you chew food. A dental implant can help you break down food before it hits your digestive system.
Your lips and cheeks are held in place by your teeth. Dental implants can help maintain your facial structure.
Alternatives to Dental Implants
Luckily, there are plenty of alternatives to dental implants should you decide that traditional implants aren’t right for you. Some of these alternatives include:
- Partial dentures
- Full dentures
A bride is the façade of a tooth that is attached to the two teeth to each side of the missing tooth. Bridges help your teeth stay in place and keep your facial structure intact.
Partial dentures are a set of several false teeth that you can pop into your mouth when you eat or are in public and pop out to clean or sleep.
Full dentures are a full set of false teeth that you pop into your mouth for the majority of the day and pop out at night.
Both full and partial dentures can help maintain jaw health and facial structure as well as assist in chewing.
What Happens If You Leave an Empty Space in Your Mouth?
Leaving empty spaces in your mouth for an extended period of time could cause a myriad of dental issues. Some people with missing teeth experience jaw pain, difficulty chewing and collapsed facial features.
Missing teeth aren’t an issue in the short term, but you’ll want to deal with this issue so you don’t continue to experience discomfort and problems in the future.