Post-Extraction Options for Replacing Teeth

When a tooth is severely decayed or damaged, your dentist may recommend a tooth extraction. This last-resort oral surgery removes a damaged tooth from your mouth and can affect your mouth’s function and appearance. After an extraction, there are three common ways to replace teeth.

Dental Implants

Dental implants are rooted in your mouth similarly to your real teeth. A dental implant occurs in stages. First, a titanium root is implanted into your jaw. The implant site is given time to heal over, allowing the bone to fuse to the titanium and gum tissue to grow over it. Once this has occurred, your dentist makes an incision into the gum, exposing the tip of the implant. On this, they place an abutment and again allow you to heal. Finally, a crown is placed onto the abutment and your implant process is complete.

Dental implants are the most invasive means of replacing extracted teeth. In certain situations, a dentist may recommend a bone graft before pursuing a dental implant. This can help ensure the bone that fuses to the implant is strong enough to support it. Your mouth needs to be healthy for a dentist to consider an implant as a viable option.

Dental Bridges

Dental bridges fill the gaps that occur after a tooth extraction. A typical dental bridge is comprised of three or more pieces. The pontic is the false tooth that will replace the extracted one. Connected on either side of the pontic are two abutment crowns. To install the dental bridge, your dentist will file the surrounding teeth down. The abutment crowns are secured to these filed teeth and the pontic will sit between them.

It is important to keep your mouth clean after a dental bridge has been installed. Floss threaders should be used to keep the guns between and beneath the pontic tooth clean to prevent further damages or decay. As with the dental implant, your mouth must be healthy for this to be an option.

Removable Partial Dentures

Partial dentures are removable tooth replacements. They can be used to replace one or several teeth after an extraction. Because this option is removable, it is not anchored to your jaw or surrounding teeth as the implants and bridges are. A removable partial denture replicates your teeth and gums and may have clasps to help secure them to your mouth when in use. Depending on how many teeth are being extracted, a partial denture may be provided immediately after an extraction based on a cast of your mouth. As you heal, your guns and bones may shrink or swell. This may cause your partial denture to fit poorly. A dentist can reline your denture to ensure it fits snuggly and comfortably once you have fully healed.

Unlike implants and bridges, removable partial dentures are a viable option even if your mouth is not in the best condition.

If you’ve recently had a tooth extraction done and are wondering which replacement option is best for you, consult with the team at Better Dental.