No one wants to lose a permanent tooth. However, even if your lost tooth isn’t visible in your mouth, it’s important to consider replacement options as soon as possible. Even though your missing tooth may not seem like a big deal, it can cause the other teeth to shift to compensate for the gap. Not only will this change the structure of your smile over time, but it can also lead to less bone in your jaw, which can affect both your appearance as well as your jaw strength.
The goods new is that you have options for replacing a lost tooth! What are some of the best ways to replace that missing tooth and protect your smile?
For most people, a dental implant will be the best way to replace their missing tooth. Dental implants have numerous benefits over other options for replacing your teeth.
This dental restoration includes a titanium or ceramic implant that fuses with your natural jawbone to create an extremely sturdy and permanent replacement, which attaches to a dental crown. The dental crown will be the only visible part of the implant in your smile, and it’ll be made by a lab or in-office technology to create a very realistic replacement for your unique natural tooth.
Dental implants have a very high success rate (over 95%) with minimal risks, making them not just a secure tooth replacement option for your missing tooth, but a safe one as well .
Before dental implants, partial dentures were long considered the standard for single or even multiple missing teeth . Partial dentures consist of a metal framework with an artificial tooth attached and fit over your teeth similarly to a retainer. You may have the option for both a fixed (permanent) partial denture or a removable one.
Partial dentures may be the right choice for those who don’t want their neighboring teeth affected by a dental bridge placement, or who don’t want to go through the process for dental implants. Partial dentures are affordable, but will need to be replaced every few years, unlike dental implants.
A dental bridge is a dental restoration in which the neighboring teeth on each side of the missing tooth are used to support an artificial replica to replace the missing tooth. Two dental crowns are used on healthy teeth to support the missing middle tooth (or teeth).
Many people who are missing a single natural tooth qualify for dental bridges, and there are different types of bridges to suit your particular smile . For example, even if your missing tooth is at the end of one of your rows of teeth, your dentist may be able to construct what’s called a cantilever bridge, in which only one side of the teeth is used as the supporting end.
Are You Missing a Tooth?
If you’re missing a tooth, there’s no better time than now to follow up with your dentist to find out more about your options for replacing a lost tooth. Depending on your unique smile, you may have several options and your dentist can help you make the best choice!