Nobody wants to lose a tooth. But it happens! And to be honest, it actually happens more than you might think. When you lose a tooth, a lot can actually happen. First, chewing will be impacted on the side of the loss, and if not treated for some time, this can lead to the remaining teeth to tilting into the open space.
In order to fill the space, restore proper function, and prevent remaining teeth from falling out of alignment – your dentist will likely recommend one of a few options, with the options being a dental implant, a dental bridge, or a partial denture. This ultimately depends both on the location of the missing tooth, as well as the patients own preferences.
The different options available all have their own pros and cons. Learn more about them below:
Dental bridges are one of the most common and trusted solutions for replacing teeth. However, dental implants are quickly replacing them as the tooth replacement method of choice. This is because, while a dental bridge can successfully bridge the gap between a missing tooth and remaining healthy teeth, it requires preparation of the supporting teeth (which can involve damaging healthy teeth). It also won’t last as long as an implant. Even still, a dental bridge also tends to be less expensive – and with all of the technology available today, you can expect it to look just as good as one of your natural teeth.
Removable partial dentures can be a great solution for a patients experiencing a specific situation. In most cases, our dentists in Garden Grove recommend a removable partial denture to patients who are typically missing multiple teeth (not necessarily right next to each other). They are also sometimes preferred because they are less expensive than other options, and are almost always recommended if some of your natural teeth can be preserved.
Easily the most important benefit of a dental implant is the fact that it protects against future bone-loss in your jaw. Because the implant integrates with your jaw, it provides the simulation that your jawbone needs to continue on — healthy and strong. Not only does this provide a benefit in terms of bone strength, it also means that your face won’t change drastically as you age. If you were to rely on another solution – like a dental bridge or denture — atrophy of your jaw would eventually lead to your face gradually changing its shape. Finally, implants also offer superior longevity. While a dental bridge or denture will generally last between 5 and 10 years, an implant lasts about as long as you could expect a natural tooth to (up to a lifetime).