When you lose a tooth as a child, you can rest easy knowing that it’ll be replaced by another tooth soon. You might even be excited for the Tooth Fairy to visit that night! But as an adult, losing a tooth may leave you feeling uncertain. What are the best options to replace a missing tooth? And how can you decide which treatment best fits your situation?
The Best Options to Replace a Missing Tooth
Losing a tooth doesn’t just affect the appearance of your smile; it can also cause issues with speaking and eating, disrupt the alignment of your teeth, and weaken the integrity of your jaw bone. Even the loss of a single tooth can have a profound impact on your oral health and self-confidence. Fortunately, there are a variety of options to replace a missing tooth available.
A Dental Implant
A dental implant is a small post, typically made of titanium, that replaces the root of a natural tooth. Because it fuses with the jaw bone, this post provides a secure base for the crown that will be attached to the top. Dental implants offer many benefits. They function like natural teeth in just about every way, allowing you to eat, speak, brush, and floss as you always have. They also prevent bone loss because their titanium rod sends signals to the jaw bone to grow around it. They are not suitable for every patient, however, so you’ll need to ask your dentist if you’re a good candidate for a dental implant.
A Dental Bridge Supported by Implants or Crowns
A dental bridge bridges the gap created by a missing tooth. A replacement tooth known as a pontic is attached to a crown on both sides. Those crowns can be cemented on top of your natural teeth or dental implants. This is a long-term treatment that provides a natural-looking smile. It’s important to note that an implant-supported bridge is typically only used in certain circumstances, when a few teeth in a row need to be replaced. A crown-supported bridge will impact the teeth on either side of the lost tooth, as they will need to be filed down before crowns can be placed on top. A crown-supported bridge is more economical than an implant, but it is also not permanent and will need to be replaced eventually.
A Partial Denture
When you think about dentures, you likely picture complete dentures — dentures that replace all of the teeth on the top and bottom of the mouth. But have you heard about partial dentures? As their name suggests, these devices replace only a part of your smile. So if you’re missing one tooth, you can get a partial denture that only has one prosthetic tooth. This affordable treatment option restores your smile, but it may not look as natural as the previous two options discussed. It must be removed and cleaned every day.
When you’re ready to replace the gap in your smile, discuss the best options to replace a missing tooth with your dentist. Since they understand the full picture of your oral health, they can help you make this decision with confidence.
Looking for an experienced, reliable, and friendly dentist near Springfield, Missouri? Contact Wilkinson Dental. Dr. Wilkinson and his team will give you the personalized treatment you deserve using state-of-the-art technology. For exceptional and comprehensive dental care, schedule your first appointment today by calling 417-708-0556 or requesting an appointment online. We look forward to hearing from you!