Why Do You Need a Tooth Replaced?
- Severe tooth decay
- Trauma or damage to a tooth
- Periodontal disease
If you ever need to get a tooth extracted from your mouth, you’ll probably want to fill in the gap. But what exactly causes a tooth to need extraction in the first place?
Severe Tooth Decay
Cavities are permanently damaged areas on the hard surface of a tooth. These happen because the bacteria in your mouth form an acid as it eats away at sugars and starches on your teeth. That’s why your dentist warns you about overeating candy on Halloween night.
When you catch a cavity early enough, you can deal with it through a simple procedure called filling. Even if a cavity becomes severe enough to infect the inner portion of your tooth (the pulp), a procedure called a root canal can fix the problem without the need to remove the original tooth.
However, if the infection becomes so severe that the infection cannot be drilled away in a root canal, the tooth might need to be extracted. This process leaves a gap in your mouth that can be fixed with a tooth replacement procedure.
Trauma or Damage to a Tooth
Sometimes, a tooth can become damaged because of accidents or other external behaviors. If your tooth becomes severely damaged from trauma, it might need to be fully extracted.
Dentists can use fillings or composite bonding for minor cracks and dents. But extraction is probably the next step if the majority of the tooth is damaged or the underlying nerves are irreparable.
Periodontal disease is another word for gum disease, which occurs when bacteria gets in between your gums and teeth. Over time, these bacteria start to attack the gums and cause them to bleed, swell and feel painful.
The early stages of gum disease are called gingivitis, which can usually be treated by removing bacteria and deep cleaning. But if damage continues, the gums might start to recede and expose the roots of your teeth. If this happens, it creates a situation where your gums cannot support your teeth, making them more likely to fall out.
You can avoid severe gum disease by ensuring you visit your dentist for an exam and cleaning twice a year.
Tooth Replacement Options
- Dental bridges
- Partial dentures
- Braces or invisible aligners
If you ever need to remove your tooth, the good news is that there are plenty of options to fill in the gaps.
Implants are one of the most common procedures for rectifying a lost tooth. During an implant procedure, a tooth gets replaced with metal, screwlike posts that take the place of the original tooth. These function just like natural teeth.
Implants are a recommended option if dentures or bridges don’t fit well in the mouth, but they’re also used when natural tooth roots aren’t able to support dentures or bridges. They’re also beneficial because they’re insanely strong.
The process requires the bone to heal tightly around the implant, so these procedures are often permanent and do not need to be replaced as long as you take care of them properly.
Before your implant, you’ll need to get a comprehensive dental exam and speak with your doctor about your medical history during a detailed consultation. Sometimes, you may need bone grafting if your jawbone is not thick enough to support the implant.
Dental bridges fill in a hap with one or more false teeth. They are made of crowns on one or both sides of a tooth that help cement a pontic or false tooth.
You can think of dental bridges just like actual bridges. If you have a gap from an extracted tooth, a bridge attaches to the existing teeth on either side of the gap. In between is a false tooth that fits into the gap to restore the appearance and function of the pre-existing real tooth. A cantilever bridge is a specific type that only attaches to one abutment or authentic tooth.
Dental bridges are recommended if the surrounding teeth are still in good condition and can support the pontic tooth. Bridges can last up to 10 years or more with proper oral hygiene, professional cleanings, and regular checkups.
Removable partial dentures are replacement teeth with pink gum-colored bases that attach or clasp to your existing teeth. Partial dentures are effective for restoring the appearance of your smile, but not necessarily full function.
Partial dentures can be removed and re-clasped as you please. They do not adhere to the gumline in the same way as implants, and they are not bonded to teeth in the same way as bridges.
While you can still eat with dentures, chewing hard or sticky foods might be problematic, especially during the introduction period.
Braces or Invisible Aligners
While braces and invisible aligners might not necessarily be able to replace a missing tooth, they can still be used to fill in the gaps where a tooth is now missing — these work to shift the position of your teeth over time gradually.
Cost of Tooth Replacement
Replacing a tooth is a standard procedure, but that doesn’t mean it’s accessible in terms of cost. The average price of tooth extraction alone is $221 without insurance. Considering bridges and implants can cost upwards of $1,500 and $2,000, many people are going without the dental care they need because they’re uninsured. Even more, not all insurance companies will even cover dental implants.
No insurance? No problem. Flossy is a pay-as-you-go dental service where you only pay for the procedures you receive. There are no membership fees or annual dues – you only pay for what you get.
Did we mention you can save up to 50% on most dental procedures without a waiting period? That means you can get a tooth extracted for just $98 immediately. Plus, we vigorously vet our dentists to ensure you’re getting the highest quality treatment.
Losing teeth is rarely ideal, but the good news is that there are plenty of options for getting the gaps replaced.
Dental implants, bridges, partial dentures, and braces are all great, common ways to restore the function and appearance of your mouth.
However, without insurance, these costs can all add up.
Flossy is a pay-as-you-go service that lets you save up to 50% on common dental treatments without needing insurance.
Find a dentist near you in the Phoenix area to start immediately.
Cavities/tooth decay - Symptoms and causes | The Mayo Clinic.
Dental implant surgery | The Mayo Clinic
Dental Bridges: Who Needs Them, Types, Costs, Procedure & Care Issues | The Cleveland Clinic
Removable Partial Dentures | American Dental Association