When removing a tooth it is important to consider what will be done with the empty space after that tooth is removed. With the exception of wisdom teeth or tooth removal for orthodontic reasons, if a tooth is removed and nothing is done with the extraction site, the jaw bone will degenerate and change shape during healing and the teeth around and opposite the missing tooth will shift. This can create problems in your bite and affect your ability to speak and chew.
In many instances, a dental implant will be the best option for replacing the missing tooth and preserving the bone. A bone graft is often needed at the time of extraction to minimize the shrinkage of the bone as the area heals. This is referred to as extraction site preservation. Another option is to place a bridge to replace the missing tooth. This should always be done before the teeth shift for an optimal result.