There are many reasons why it is important to retain our teeth. Consequences of early tooth loss include:
- Loss of function
- Adjacent teeth drifting into the space
- Overeruption of the opposing tooth into the arch
- Facial shrinkage – this can cause premature ageing
- Overloading of remaining teeth
- Uneven bite (occlusion) leading to excessive stress and damage to the jaw joint (TMJ) and sometimes headaches
- Bone loss – without the chewing pressure the bone dissolves away. This can lead to the need for bone augmentation prior to implant treatment.
However, in some cases it is not possible to save teeth due to extensive damage from cracks, fractures or decay. In these cases replacement options such as implants, a fixed bridge or removable partial dentures can be used to maintain occlusion and prevent the consequences listed above.