Loss of one or two teeth in section of your mouth can lead to drifting of neighboring teeth, whereby the adjacent teeth lean over into the vacant space where the teeth have been lost. Similarly, loss of a tooth or teeth can lead to shifting of opposing teeth as they drift down into the open space. Could you imagine so many changes happening from the loss of a single tooth??? YIKES!!!
Now the teeth that have drifted down are not contacting their adjacent teeth properly allowing food to collect causing decay and periodontal disease. These areas are very difficult to clean even by a hygienist. This jeopardizes the health of not only the drifted tooth but the adjacent teeth as well. The teeth that have leaned are now not positioned in the jaw properly and cannot withstand strong chewing forces compounded by similar problems of impacted food, decay and periodontal disease.
The longer the patient waits to replace the tooth the more involved and lengthy the procedure. Treatment may involve orthodontics to straighten the teeth and close the spaces, endodontic therapy (root canal) to help the tooth heal from nerve damage from large amounts of decay and then finally the prosthetic device to replace the missing teeth.
But what about the tooth that &S220;grew longer&S221; due to the opposing tooth being extracted?? This is the most difficult procedure. It is easy to use orthodontics to make a tooth grow longer out of the jaw but it is VERY difficult to move a tooth into the jaw. Often the extruded tooth is root canaled, then needs gum surgery to correct loss of bone from the periodontal disease then needs a crown to correct the way it contacts the adjacent teeth and make it fit properly into the biting surface of the replaced tooth.
So much work that could have been avoided if the tooth was replaced sooner.