What Happens if You Don’t Replace a Tooth?

If you have a severely damaged tooth or one that is decaying, your dentist may recommend having the tooth extracted and replaced with a dental implant. Typically after most extractions, you will have a dental implant placed to help preserve the functionality and integrity of your oral cavity. However, if you don’t replace your tooth for a long time after a dental extraction, the rest of your teeth may suffer.

This is because in order to chew foods properly, especially those that are hard or chewy, requires all your teeth to be able to do it effectively. Having a gap in your teeth however could lead to uneven stress on your teeth, leading to misalignment or damage that would require costly treatments down the road.

A number of conditions such as gum disease, tooth decay, dental misalignment, tooth fractures, and erosion of the underlying jaw bones can all become more likely to occur the longer you have a missing tooth or gap. Some patients may even notice a change in the way they speak or enunciate different words depending on the position of the missing tooth. And of course, patient’s overall appearance of their smile may be affected as well, causing discomfort in social situations as well.

What Happens if I Don’t Replace My Missing Molar?

Though molars are located towards the back of a mouth and are not visible, it’s still important to replace a molar as soon as possible as normal teeth may eventually start shifting, leading to misalignment of your regular teeth. This could overtime lead to imperfections in your smile, make it difficult to properly chew foods, and could require costly treatments in the future to appropriately fix.

Severe conditions like gum disease, tooth decay, and underlying bone erosion can also develop the longer you neglect to have a missing molar replaced, resulting in more money and time spent at the dentist’s office.

How Long Do I Have to Replace a Missing Tooth?

There is no hard and fast rule that determines how long you have to replace a missing tooth. Technically you could elect to never have a missing tooth replaced. However, this is probably a bad decision as having a missing tooth for an extended period of time can cause excessive wear and tear on your overall oral health, causing misalignment of your normal teeth, and predispose you to having gum disease and tooth decay.

In most cases, your dentist will recommend you to have your teeth replaced as soon as possible after a dental extraction to avoid any unnecessary complications. And the exact type of dental implant that would be used to fill in a gap really is based on your preference and budget, with most dental implants lasting up to 15 years so long as proper dental hygiene is maintained.