I just had an extraction on #3. How soon after an extraction is it recommended to have some kind of replacement? I’m concerned about the surrounding teeth shifting or any other issues that arise from a missing tooth.
- Melissa from Texas
Once a tooth is extracted, I would get SOMETHING in the space right away, even if it’s a temporary “flipper” removable partial. The teeth can start moving significantly within a week or so.
Yes, you’re right that the missing tooth can cause problems. You had an upper first molar extracted. This is a key tooth. When it is missing, the second molar tends to tip forward, the tooth in front will tend to tip backward, and the opposing molar on the lower will drift upward into the space. A missing first molar can completely disrupt your bite and lead to TMJ disorder, or gum disease.
With a single missing tooth, your reasonable choices would be to replace it with a three-tooth dental bridge, or to place a single dental implant in the space.
Click here to read our page about the pros and cons of a dental implant vs a dental bridge.