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Replacing a missing tooth or teeth.

Unfortunately, some of our patients are faced with the choice of removing a tooth or facing an expensive alternative. At the time, it may seem favourable to save the money and opt for the cheaper extraction, however, the consequences are usually far more expensive in the long-term.

As a simple analogy, our teeth are in rows, butting up together like a tightly packed bookshelf. As you would know, removing one book has all of the other books collapse upon themselves. This is exactly what happens when a tooth is removed. For a number of years, you may only notice a loss of chewing ability on the one side, however, after that, the teeth will bend over and change your bite. Once this occurs, food will trap unnaturally and cause decay, and, any fillings in these teeth are compromised to fit in to an unnatural bite. The loads on the teeth change in to positions that they were not designed to be, and these teeth are now subject to movements that cause pain and sensitivity.

If a lower tooth is removed, the tooth above will grow down in to the space and cause decay-causing food traps in the upper teeth. The neck of the upper tooth is exposed to sensitivity and decay. If an upper tooth is removed, the underlying sinus expands to fill in the space lost to this tooth.

Should the tooth be close to the front, it is quite possible that your front teeth will spread and become “gappy,” or, the midline of your front teeth could move to the left or the right.

It is quite common for our patients to extract a back tooth because “they can’t see it.” Unfortunately, it is your back teeth that are used for chewing. These are the functional teeth; without them, the front teeth may have a very short life.

Although we understand that one tooth may not seem like a good investment, all we can say is that the most expensive treatment plans that we provide are in people that are looking to replace the teeth that they had extracted in the past. The biggest challenge that we face as dentists is to try to explain the future consequences of any decision that you make now.

Sometimes, a tooth is so badly damaged that it is beyond repair. In this situation, we are faced with no other option other than extraction. If this is necessary, you will only have a few years to replace this missing tooth before the arch collapses and it is no longer possible.

We will, of course, provide whatever service you desire, however, please do not hesitate to take up the many options we have of staged treatments or payment plans to prevent long-term problems. We will help wherever and whenever we can.