Has anyone just left the gap after tooth extraction...?

(16 Posts)
ThunderGarlic Wed 08-Jan-20 09:56:16

...and how did leaving the gap work out?

I had a molar extracted just before Christmas. It had been filled, refilled, RCT'd, crowned etc.. over the last 30 years and after the abscess and facial swelling I had in December, I was glad to be rid of it.

When I went for my follow up with the dentist this week, I was expecting him to recommend a bridge or implant ASAP. He actually said I could just leave the gap if I wanted, which surprised me. I do have all my other teeth including functional wisdom teeth on both sides and no gum disease. While my teeth aren't perfectly aligned, only a dentist (or someone staring straight into my mouth) would notice, and I don't really want an obvious misalignment to form.

I know some people IRL who have just left a gap at the back after having a single tooth out, can still chew normally and it doesn't seem to have affected their other teeth. However, one of my brothers had a similar tooth extraction a few years back, left the gap because he never got round to making a decision and now has wonky teeth (after a lifetime of having the straightest teeth in the family). So, I'm quite torn.

My dentist said the gum will need at least three months to heal fully so I have time to think about what I want to do before I see him again.

What did others do about the gap after an extracted tooth? How has this affected other teeth?


OP’s posts: |
Toomboom Wed 08-Jan-20 10:08:29

I had a tooth removed many years ago for similar reasons to you. I have never had an implant or bridge fitted. It is a back tooth, so isn't seen.
It has never caused any issues with eating or the other teeth.

2beautifulbabs Wed 08-Jan-20 10:29:23

Same here I had back molar removed few years ago now and never wanted an implant or bridge put in as I didn't want to risk any damage being done to my other teeth I haven't felt the need to go and get it done the gap doesn't bother me and you can't see it if it were to have been front teeth or on show I would have had it replaced

Isadora2007 Wed 08-Jan-20 10:31:02

I had my right top back molar removed at the same time as my wisdom teeth... no effect here.

LemonScentedStickyBat Wed 08-Jan-20 10:35:36

18 months so far and have got used to the gap but had problems on the other side recently so eating became a bit tricky for a while. I think I will get a bridge eventually.

Whoops75 Wed 08-Jan-20 10:39:04

I’ve left a gap after a failed root canal and I had to have my crown removed.

No plans to fill it and my teeth haven’t moved after 2 years.

Beamur Wed 08-Jan-20 10:41:24

I have a gap at the back. No plans to do anything about it anytime soon.
Not visible, no problems eating and dentist doesn't think my other teeth will move.


Freddiefatpants Wed 08-Jan-20 10:48:07

I've had both. I had a front tooth knocked almost out after a riding accident and it caused several problems after that so had to be removed and an implant put in. Now I'm used to it it doesn't bother me at all but biting into something hard I can feel a difference.
I had a back tooth removed after it disintegrated and I have a gap. Did take a good couple of months to settle down and it was sore but I don't have any issues with eating or my other teeth moving around up to now.

ThunderGarlic Wed 08-Jan-20 10:51:44

Thanks all - that's really encouraging! Good to know this can be a viable option for some. Lots of dental websites seem insistent that all gaps must be filled immediately or dire consequences will result. My dentist's viewpoint and the experience of some of you show that it isn't always so cut and dried.

I'll see how I get on with chewing over the next few months until I go back again and keep a close eye on the position of my other teeth.

OP’s posts: |
WoollyFoolly Wed 08-Jan-20 10:52:24

I have had two back molars removed, one each side, no replacements. One was removed almost 20 years ago (in my 20s) and one 2 years ago. I haven't had any tooth movement and don't have any problems chewing but the teeth either side of the very old extraction are now getting extremely sensitive. Dentist says this is because my guy where the gap is is shrinking back and slightly exposing the top of the root of the adjoining teeth. I'm now considering an implant to stop any further erosion so in hindsight if I could pay for it, I'd have done it straight away.

Dinosauratemydaffodils Wed 08-Jan-20 10:59:15

I had a tooth knocked out as a teenager (hockey stick to the face) and I still have a gap twenty odd years later. It annoys my dentist who still brings up a bridge every time I see her but it's caused me zero issues.

cornstarch Wed 08-Jan-20 11:02:06

I have a gap at the back. Have done for many years. No issue at all. All my other teeth at sound

Binting Wed 08-Jan-20 11:02:36

I have 2 bottom molars missing on the left side (also wisdom teeth never came through) I manage fine. Dentures didn't work. I'm going to have an implant and bridge sorted abroad at some point, but in the meantime there's no problem eating or anything.

Ariela Wed 08-Jan-20 11:09:43

My second to last top left molar cracked in an unusual way - it split vertically right through to the root, so dentist couldn't repair it with filling to stick it back together it had to come out. Have a gap and I hate it because stuff gets stuck in the gap, am thinking of an implant just so I can eat things like carrot of walnut on that side without getting a biggish bit instantly wedged in the gap (softer food is OK)

Flump9 Wed 08-Jan-20 11:44:55

It did cause problems for me. Had bottom molar extracted and left the gap, over the years the tooth above super erupted so that it was lower than the other teeth. Ended up having that extracted too. I had slightly crooked teeth already but they were getting a lot more crooked and I'm now having invisalign to straighten. One of the gaps is being closed by invisalign but will need to have implant or bridge at the end to stop them going crooked again.

ThunderGarlic Wed 08-Jan-20 13:55:30

WoollyFoolly - potential future tooth sensitivity is definitely something to also think about. There's always some gum recession with age and I'm not getting any younger.

Flump9 - that does sound bad! Hope you get it all sorted out in the end. I have class III malocclusion and most of my back teeth don't touch at rest anyway so I'm hoping that having one removed shouldn't change the force on the tooth above too much and may lessen the risk of super-eruption. I'll have to ask my dentist for his view on this one.

OP’s posts: |

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