What Questions should we ask before deciding to get implants?

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mirla

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Joined
Apr 7, 2006
Messages
67
Wow, looks like I haven't visited since 2014! I think that shows things are going pretty well for me.

I have a mouthful of crowns, and I don't know how many root canals, but no extractions yet, fortunately (except the wizzies). However, my husband had one of his teeth extracted a while ago (I couldn't listen to why - too shudder-inducing). He was planning on getting an implant, but is now rethinking that decision, and just leaving it as a gap. He's asking me my opinion.

It's not a tooth that shows when he smiles, and the gap isn't bugging him. When he told the Dentist he was thinking of just leaving it as empty space, they told him they'd have to extract his bottom tooth as well, because it wouldn't have anything to push against. After taking a second look, they decided he still had enough to bite against that it would be OK without removing the bottom tooth.

Is there something else we should be thinking about or asking? I thought you needed to fill in the gap or your teeth would all get misaligned or something?
 
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drm

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Verified dentist
Joined
Sep 3, 2016
Messages
292
Teeth with a gap in front of them have a tendency to fall forward into it. This doesn't happen immediately but very slowly over the course of years. This can cause some bone loss, changes in the bite, and eventually the tooth may need to be extracted. As the space closes you may no longer have enough space to fit an implant or other tooth replacement option. For some people this process occurs very slowly while with others it happens quite a bit more quickly. In the early stages it can be corrected with braces through a process known as "molar uprighting" but this quickly gets more expensive than just having an implant placed from the start.

For most of my younger patients I recommend getting an implant placed or at least wearing something removable to keep the space open. Most dentists can make you a single tooth partial denture that if worn somewhat regularly will keep the tooth in the back from falling forward. Holding the space open at least gives you options in the future.
 
M

mirla

Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2006
Messages
67
Thank you very much. That's exactly the kind of info I was looking for.
 
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