Nobody wants to lose an adult tooth. It’s a hassle, it’s expensive, and it can be embarrassing if the tooth is particularly noticeable.
If you’ve lost one of your adult teeth – whether from infrequent oral care, injury, or neglect, the most important course of action you can take is to replace the tooth as quickly as possible.
Why replacing missing teeth is about more than just cosmetics
Many patients assume that losing a tooth, apart from being an inconvenience in terms of chewing, is simply a cosmetic problem, but the problem actually goes much deeper.
Your teeth, in addition to standing on their own to provide chewing power and a nice aesthetic, also serve as a support for their neighboring teeth.
When one tooth fails and either falls out or has to be removed, it’s absence can actively undermine the surrounding teeth, causing them to fall out of line, become crooked, or misaligned. This can also cause problems with the evenness of your bite. For this reason, replacement options like dental bridges and dental implants are imperative.
Dental implants: dental implants are one of the most secure and natural looking dental replacements available. Not only are implants strong, natural looking, and easy to care for (hint: just like a natural tooth) they are also the preferred choice for replacing teeth when a bridge might not be ideal – such as when the adjacent teeth are perfectly healthy and crowning them (for a bridge) is unnecessary.
Dental implants use a titanium post implanted into the gum and the underlying bone as a foundation for a prosthesis. The titanium post actually bonds to the jawbone, successfully replacing the tooth’s root system with a strong alternative that lasts virtually forever.
Dental Bridges: are distinctly different from dental implants in a few key ways. First of all, they are not installed into the your jawbone or gums. While they are permanent, they are not quite as permanent as a dental implant, and are instead anchored by attaching the bridge to the natural teeth on either side of the missing tooth. To do this, the teeth on either side are first prepared for a crown. This involves carefully filing away enamel to prepare the surface. On top of this surface, a crown is installed that will eventually anchor to the dental bridge and the new, replacement tooth (also known as a pontic).
While a dental implant is often recommended when the adjacent teeth are healthy, a dental bridge is often recommended as a suitable solution when the adjacent teeth would also benefit from crowns, or simply for a more cost effective option.
Do you have questions about replacing a missing tooth? If you’re a patient in the Garden Grove area, we can help! Schedule a consultation today or contact us to learn more.