When a tooth is lost, the bone that remains starts to resorb away. Teeth that are next to, above or below the newly created space may lose support as a result of this resorbing bone. They will also begin to move and shift until they come in to contact with something. This causes super-eruption and sometimes their premature loss. Teeth can also lean and tilt to the point at which they no longer function properly. When this malalignment starts to occur, bite problems usually develop. When the upper and lower jaw don’t align properly, it strains and damages the jaw joint (TMJ).
Options for replacement:
1) Dental implants: The surgical component is a titanium screw that is placed into the jawbone to support a dental prosthesis such as a crown, bridge, denture etc.
2) Fixed Bridge: These are crowns that are fused together which fit over the teeth on each side of the space with the replacement crown in the middle.
3) Removable partial denture: An RPD is a denture for a partially edentulous patient that is replacing a tooth or multiple teeth for functional or esthetic reasons and who cannot have a bridge due to the lack of required teeth to serve as support for a fixed bridge.