boy in tooth extraction

If you have lost a tooth, most likely you can lose the next
Have you ever thought about what happens to the jaw bone after tooth extraction?
Removing even one tooth triggers an avalanche-like process of changing the entire dentition in general.

The first of the problems that follow tooth extraction is bone atrophy

bone atrophy

The bone becomes thinner. It is called bone atrophy. The patient most often learns about what bone atrophy is during a dental implant consultation – when it turns out that there is nowhere to install a dental implant. Because, due to the long absence of teeth, the bone ridge became lower and thinner, and sometimes it disappeared almost completely. Atrophy begins approximately three months after the tooth extraction, and reaches a peak in about a year:

It would seem, so what? Maybe a person is never going to have an implant.
In fact, everything is much more serious. Removing even one single tooth entails a change in the entire dentition in general.

The remaining teeth begin to shift towards the empty space.

teeth shift towards the empty spaceYou probably heard “Nature abhors a vacuum”. This is very true when it comes to the missing tooth. When tooth is missing the remaining teeth begin to move towards the empty space and occupy the vacant place. In the figure below, on the left – the situation before the tooth is removed, on the right – a year after the extraction. Pay attention to the appearance of ugly gaps. When teeth move their roots become weaker, which means that those teeth may be lost. Also, shifting of teeth results in changes to the bite, which in turns causes digestive problems.

The next problem – the opposite tooth begins to shift down from its place.

tooth begins to shift downThe teeth not only move sideways, but also extend up from its socket. Not feeling resistance on the opposite jaw, the tooth begins to search for the usual support and moves out of its place not only to the side, but also down.

Within a year, you will find that a tooth in the space opposite of the lost tooth becomes longer than its neighbors. It means that roots of that tooth start to move and the tooth may become weaker.

Another consequence of tooth extraction is a change in bite

The process is simple. One or more teeth are removed, the adjacent teeth shift forward and up. Their usual correct position changes, which results in teeth beat against each other during chewing and the weakest, as a result, change position and as a consequence the bite change. Changing the bite will be followed by increased abrasion of the enamel, then caries, and again the need for treatment.

Tooth loss causes:

  • bone atrophy;
  • bite changes;
  • long-term inflammatory diseases of the oral cavity;
  • development of caries;
  • passive trauma to the jaw due to malocclusion;
  • weakening of the muscle ligaments that hold the tooth in place; and much more, including digestive upsets.

What to do?

To avoid future problems missing tooth needs to be replaced. In the next article, you will find different ways to replace the missing tooth and their pros and cos.


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I am extremely happy with Dr Kokorev. He saved my tooth from extraction recommended by another dentist, who could not do root canal treatment and offered to removed the tooth. Dr Kokorev did root canal treatment and at a reasonable price. He is very professional, practice is modern, staff helpful. Will come back
Stanley Cobran

Very friendly and professional staff. Alexander is a very experienced dental surgeon. I have been visiting his surgery for 14 years now. All the work that he has done over the years has been of excellent quality. Highly recommend.

Andrey Butrev

Thanks to Dr Kokorev and his timely response to my emergency phone call on Anzac Day! They phoned back and arranged a time for me Thursday. What a relief to have the diagnosis and treatment that day.

Jasmine Beschorner

Very happy with Dr Alexander. Friend of mine recommended him. I had root canal done here and it was much cheaper than quoted from another St Kilda dentist. I had small injection before the procedure, which was fine and after that the whole procedure was painless. He also cleaned my teeth and did one small filling on another tooth. Good dentist, no nonsense approach. Will come back.

Ala Vesna