In a full dental arch, each tooth has its exact location. It appropriately comes into contact with its neighbour on the right, the left and the opposite side. It remains stable and does not move. The occurrence of any missing tooth causes the imbalance of this ideal state. This initiates the following chain of 5 most important and often irreversible consequences resulting from the failure to restore the missing teeth.
1. Due to the inclination of the other teeth towards the gap, spaces are formed between teeth. They are unaesthetic and foster inflammation of the gingiva,
2. Forces generated in the course of chewing make teeth tilt towards the gap. The smile symmetry is distorted.
3. The alveolar process bone (remaining after the missing tooth), which is pressed while eating, retreats together with the surrounding gum tissue. Restoration made after some time (one to several years), e.g. a bridge, in order to obtain the beautiful natural looks may require bone regeneration procedure (see “Implants”)
4. The lower tooth, due to the lack of contact with the opposing upper tooth, moves steadily upwards. It weakens its retention in the bone. The tooth becomes overloaded, which leads to its considerable loosening and, in result, to its extraction.
5. The effect is malocclusion, which may lead to lesions of the temporomandibular joint – manifested by strong headaches. The contact between maxillary and mandibular teeth becomes distorted. The contact between the opposite teeth changes from surface to point contact. The effectiveness of chewing is decreased.