Can a tooth be transplanted?

Have you been recommended to have a tooth removed? In most cases the best solution to replace a missing tooth is implants, but it is not the only option, read on if you want to know more.

Tooth extractions are a common procedure in dental clinics, and we dentists love to save teeth, but sometimes it is impossible. There are many reasons why we decide to extract a tooth: excessive mobility due to periodontitis (gum disease), extensive decay that has weakened the tooth too much, or cracks that make any restorative treatment impossible.

Conventionally, we had alternatives such as fixed bridges or removable braces, but today these are options with many disadvantages, and these treatments are rarely indicated. 

Dental implants are the best option in most cases, as they are safe and reliable, but nowadays there is another, more modern and equally reliable treatment: autotransplants.

If up until now everything sounded normal but this now seems like science fiction to you, it is perfectly understandable. Not many practices offer this treatment, but in a few years it will be standard in almost every dental practice.

An autotransplant consists of using one of the wisdom teeth to replace another one that needs to be extracted. There are other ways of autotransplanting teeth, but this is the most common.

Most of us have been advised to have some of our wisdom teeth removed. They do not usually come out in the right position, and cause more problems than benefits. Nowadays we can transplant them. With autotransplantation we give them a second chance and they fulfil a beneficial function, replacing a tooth in poor condition or with an infection.

It still sounds strange, doesn't it? Well, it's a treatment that has been tried for over 30 years with mixed results, but thanks to technological advances in radiography and 3D printing it has become a real option. Moreover, the most recent studies put its success rate at up to 96% of cases*.

If you find yourself in the situation of having to have a tooth extracted, you now know one more option for restoring your smile.

*Machado LA, do Nascimento RR, Ferreira DM, Mattos CT, Vilella OV. Long-term prognosis of tooth autotransplantation: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Int J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2016 May;45(5):610-7