Put It Back

Author: Kimberly N. Powell, DDS, MS

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We were always told to “close it if you open it”, “lock it if you unlock it”, and “put it back if you use it”. That still holds true for your teeth. When tooth loss occurs due to trauma, periodontal disease, or other reasons, it is beneficial to replace those teeth. Normal tooth eruption allows for teeth to have an opposing and adjacent partner. When there is tooth loss, the opposing tooth will super erupt, gradual eruption of the tooth until it is impeded by a force, or the adjacent tooth will drift. Super eruption can become so severe as to cause pain when the tooth occludes with the opposing gingiva or when tooth mobility occurs from the loss of bone support, requiring another extraction. When a tooth drifts, occlusion is still affected leading to trauma and inability to properly fit an appliance. Replacement options include removable appliances such as partials and dentures and fixed appliances like bridges and implants. The number of teeth that are loss, patient compliance, health of remaining teeth, patient preference are significant in treatment planning each case. When the lost tooth is replaced, the surrounding teeth maintain their position, happy times! Cost varies with each prosthesis, but the sooner treatment starts, the cheaper it will be.

So remember, be true to your teeth or they will be false to you.