What is Drift and Overeruption
A missing tooth space with neighboring teeth can cause drifting of the teeth in the rest of arch. This will result in potential long term damage to many of your natural teeth and affect the appearance of your teeth. The opposing teeth, directly above or below the missing tooth space is likely to drift gradually. We call this over eruption and this may result in loosening of your opposing tooth and also affect the cosmetic appearance of your teeth.
Why does Drifting occur?
When you lose a tooth, the remaining teeth no longer have the support that the bone and missing tooth, once provided. Because there is no longer support, the teeth begin to shift or move out of its anatomical position and into the open area. This causes those shifting teeth to weaken as well as be susceptible to further tooth loss.
What are the Treatment Options for Tooth Drifting?
There are several options to prevent and treat teeth from moving out of place. In order to help prevent teeth from shifting, the only option is to wear a retainer regularly to keep the teeth in their normal position. However, wearing a retainer will not help treat it. Replacing missing teeth with a single dental implant or a single tooth bridge are common treatment options for teeth drifting. Dental Implants are metal screws that are surgically inserted into the jaw bone beneath the gums. Since the implant is fixed into the jaw bone, it provides support for the artificial tooth and does not become loose. If you are considering dental implants, you must have healthy gum tissue and sufficient jaw bone density to properly insert the implant. If the bone is too thin or soft, bone grafting may be required.