Replacing a Lost Tooth
Replacing missing teeth can be a confusing process, but it doesn’t have to be. There are three main types of tooth replacement. Implants, bridges, and partial dentures all work to replace or eliminate the need for the missing tooth. Your cosmetic dentist can work with you to find which of these options best fits your needs and price range.
Why replace a missing tooth
Before investigating the options your cosmetic dentist will provide, look at why replacing lost teeth is important. When even one tooth is missing from the bite, it adds strain to the surrounding teeth. You’re more likely to chip or fracture the teeth on either side of the gap. This sets you up for more problems down the line.
When a tooth is missing, other teeth can drift out of alignment. This changes your bite. It can make it more difficult to properly brush and floss. This can lead to more problems with cavities and gum disease. Implants, bridges, and partial dentures work to preserve your teeth spacing for maximum health.
Implants are a very popular option for replacing only one or two missing teeth. Titanium posts are surgically implanted into the upper or lower jaw. This provides a sturdy base for the tooth-like crown to be placed over it. Once the jaw heals around the titanium posts, they can be used to anchor dentures instead of having crowns put on. They’re that stable.
However, implants are not a good fit for everyone. Anyone with a chronic illness which impedes healing may not be a good candidate for implants, but it varies person to person. Your cosmetic dentist can outline the pros and cons for you in more detail.
Fixed bridges are another option for filling your gap. While not a surgery like an implant, it does require multiple visits to get it in place. First, the dentist prepares the teeth on either side of the gap for the bridge. They’re typically drilled down and shaped to hold it. Then, the dentist takes a mold of your mouth. The last thing that happens at that visit is the placement of a temporary bridge. This protects your teeth until the real bridge is made.
Bridges look and function like actual teeth, even though the missing tooth is replaced by a cemented, solid crown. It typically costs less than an implant, and doesn’t require surgery. Many people choose it for these reasons.
Partial dentures fit into the mouth like retainers. As they’re made to match the appearance of your gums, they’re not very noticeable. They have to be taken out for cleaning, and should not be worn twenty-four hours a day. However, they are a more cost-effective alternative to either permanent solution. It serves to remember, that over time your dentures may lose their fit. This occurs because of the aging process, that often changes the very shape of your face. They may also break on occasion. Many dentists can perform basic repairs themselves, but more complicated efforts will take time.
Replacing a lost tooth is essential. When you replace a lost tooth, you help prevent other teeth from drifting. Moreover, it helps to prevent an increased likelihood of cavities and gum disease in other teeth. Implants, bridges, and partial dentures are three ways you can replace any lost teeth. Let Dr. Chavez, your cosmetic dentist help you decide which lost tooth solution is right for you.