My Teeth Shifted after a Tooth Extraction

Last month I had a molar extracted and now I’m noticing that my front tooth seems to have shifted. Is this normal? I don’t understand how this is possible?

– Jake in Nevada

Jake,

You may not have realized this or maybe it wasn’t explained to you in much detail by your dentist. But when you get a tooth extraction, the bone that was once supporting the tooth is resorbed into the body. This is because it is no longer needed to support the tooth that was once there. You will notice this take place during the first six months after the extraction. Also, our teeth work in harmony with one another. So when one is removed, the others shift around as an effect of the missing tooth. After a couple years, the shifting will subside for most patients. Then minimal shifting will occur as time goes on. Of course, results vary widely from patient to patient. Those that do experience shifting after an extraction will likely see the teeth surrounding the space shift into the empty space or the tooth adjacent or below the extraction site may move slightly.

Your bite and how your teeth come together is called occlusion and that will be the main factor in determining precisely how much shifting will occur. Many dentists will recommend replacing a missing tooth so shifting and bone loss is prevented. Down the road patients that deal with this shifting, sometimes deal with chewing and other occlusion problems. Others may experience teeth that will become loose over time.

Since you had a molar extracted, you may want to consider a dental implant. This treatment will prevent bone loss and keep the teeth from moving incorrectly. If you don’t have enough bone present in the upper jaw to support the surgical placement of a dental implant, it is possible that you will need a sinus lift or bone grafting to adequately support the implant. Another option may be a dental bridge. With a dental bridge, the two surrounding teeth require porcelain crowns to support the false tooth that fills the space. You may want to research the pros and cons of selecting a dental bridge vs implant.

I hope this information helps to better explain the symptoms you are experiencing.

This post is sponsored by Phoenix dentist Arthur Chal Esthetic and Reconstructive Dentistry.

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