This is a huge topic and too much for a single article. Each different treatment has been given it’s own article with the main pros and cons.
Teeth can be lost for loads of reasons but don’t worry; you will always have options if you want to fill the gap.
But you don’t have to. You don’t have to fill the gap if you don’t want to. If you chose to leave a gap, that’s obviously a free option. The other benefit is that you spend the minimum time with your dentist. I understand the appeal of this.
The downside of this option is that you still have the gap. The gap may be visible or it may affect your ability to chew.
The other downside of leaving a gap is that the teeth near the gap might try and drift into the space. Most commonly, this is an issue if you have a gap where a lower tooth has been lost. The upper teeth can often drift and drop down slightly into the gap. I’m not sure why this happens. It might be gravity allowing the teeth to move down or it might be something else.
The teeth either side of the gap can also fall over into the gap. This doesn’t happen quickly like when you fall over walking down the street but it can happen slowly, given time. When teeth tip or drift into a gap, this can make chewing trickier in that area. It will almost certainly make brushing and cleaning harder so this should be considered when planning to leave a gap.
Leaving a gap when you have lost a tooth is certainly an option. But let’s say that you want to replace a missing tooth. What are your options?
PROS – Simple and free.
CONS – You still have the gap