What Happens When a Tooth Goes Missing?
As you probably already know, my dad was a dentist as was my grandfather. Each generation has seen pretty dramatic changes in the philosophy of dental treatment. My dad and my grandfather practiced in farming villages and people would only come to see them when they were ready to get their dentures. It is just the way things had been for many generations. Still to this day, if I were to go back to my dad’s small town practice, many people would ask to get their teeth extracted rather than saved.
The human bite is very strong and the number and alignment of teeth is ideal for the support of these forces. Every time a tooth goes missing, another one loses its partner for biting and the rest of the teeth have to compensate for the extra workload. Imagine for a moment a semi truck riding with a missing back wheel? Will it work, Probably, however the rest of the wheels will have more wear than normal, they will go out of alignment and the suspension of the truck will fail. Something similar happens to mouths that have to cope with the loss of one or more teeth. The remaining teeth will show signs of wear, shifting, gum problems and even jaw pain because of poor support and function.
Once we have determined that a tooth needs to be removed, one of the main considerations is preserving the bone that holds the root. Remember that your tooth is sitting on a cup of bone that has very fragile walls, and we need this bone as intact as possible to potentially hold a dental implant and to maintain the integrity of the supporting bone for the neighbor teeth.
Currently, dental implants are considered the gold standard for tooth replacement because they are fixed and once restored can be maintained and function in a similar way as your natural teeth.
We happen to have in our team Dr. Apel Keuroghlian who is considered one of the best Oral Surgeons in Los Angeles. He is in our West Covina office only once a month and he’s usually booked up well in advance. If you or anyone you know has any questions regarding the replacement of missing teeth, contact one of our offices for a complimentary consultation.