Arch integrity that is…. Arch integrity is a term used for a jaw (upper or lower) that has all teeth present with no spaces. Arch integrity is lost once a tooth has been removed. When a tooth is removed it will cause a domino effect of harmful and sometimes irreparable damage to your mouth (see above photo).
The tooth behind the space will fall forward obliterating the space needed to replace the missing tooth. As the tooth falls forward it will open a space behind it where food will become impacted leaving you at risk for decay and/or gum disease. Additionally, the tooth above the missing tooth is coming down into the open space. As it comes down, spaces will open on either side of that tooth leaving it subject to decay and gum disease from food impaction.
This cascade of events can start happening quickly so it is important that a replacement tooth be made as soon as possible. The longer the time elapsed the harder and more complicated it becomes to unravel the mess. When a single tooth is missing, an implant or a cemented permanent fixed bridge can be made.
Once the teeth have moved as they are in the photo. Multiple procedures would be necessary to correct this. The patient would need braces to re-upright the teeth which might take a year or more in most cases!!! Also the cost of repairing the damage to your mouth would be more costly than had the patient replaced the missing tooth in a timely fashion.
If you have lost integrity…arch integrity….then you should seriously consider replacing the missing tooth/teeth before its too late!!