Losing a tooth can be an unpleasant experience for anyone. But with restorative dental treatments, you can now replace missing teeth.
These modern dental procedures can help improve your smile and help you eat and speak normally again.
Why Replace a Missing Tooth?
There are several reasons why it’s essential to replace a missing tooth. Firstly, missing teeth can affect your appearance and confidence. If you have a gap in your smile, you may feel self-conscious and avoid smiling or speaking in public. It can negatively impact your confidence and self-esteem.
Secondly, a missing tooth can affect your oral health. When a tooth is lost, the surrounding teeth can shift out of place, causing bite problems and potentially leading to further tooth loss.
Your jawbone can also start to deteriorate around the area where the tooth is missing, which can have a knock-on effect, weakening the surrounding teeth and causing them to become loose over time.
Finally, missing teeth can make it difficult to eat and speak properly. Depending on which tooth is missing, you may find it challenging to chew certain foods or speak clearly, impacting your overall health and quality of life.
Options for Replacing a Missing Tooth
It would be ideal to have our natural teeth last throughout our life. While good dental hygiene habits and visiting your dentist for regular exams and cleanings can help keep your teeth and gums healthy, you can lose your natural teeth due to gum disease, tooth decay, injury, or a genetic condition.
Different dental procedures can help restore your smile, the overall appearance of your face and mouth, and function.
A dental implant is a popular and effective method for replacing a missing tooth. A dental implant is a small titanium post surgically inserted into the jawbone and acts as a replacement tooth root.
Over several months, the implant fuses with the jawbone below the gum line, creating a stable and permanent base for a replacement tooth. The next step is to attach an abutment or connector post to the implant. A crown or bridge can be attached to the abutment to replace the missing tooth.
The many benefits of a dental implant include the following:
- They don’t involve adjacent teeth
- They offer a long-term solution for a missing tooth
- They can last decades
- They look and feel like natural teeth.
- You can care for dental implants like natural teeth with regular brushing and flossing.
A dental bridge is another option for replacing a missing tooth. As the name suggests, a dental bridge extends across the mouth where there aren’t any teeth, and your natural teeth or 2 crowns on either side of the gap hold them in place.
There are 4 types of dental bridges. Your dentist can recommend which kind to get based on the health and condition of your mouth and gums and the location of the missing tooth:
- Traditional bridges are used when your natural teeth surround either side of a missing tooth.
- Implant bridges are used to support a traditional bridge when you don’t have healthy teeth surrounding a missing tooth. Instead, dental implants anchor the bridge.
- Resin-bonded bridges are ideal when the missing tooth is at the front of your mouth and involves fusing artificial teeth with metal bands.
- Cantilever bridges can be used when you only have healthy teeth on one side of the missing tooth.
Which Option Is Right for You?
Choosing the right option for replacing a missing tooth depends on several factors, including your oral health, budget, and personal preferences. Your dentist can help you determine the best option for your individual needs.
Only some people are candidates for dental implants. Your dentist can check if you have good overall health, healthy gums, and enough bone in your jaw. Dental implants also require a commitment of several months to allow for healing and regular checkups to ensure the implant procedure is successful and working.
Bridges involve altering the structure of surrounding teeth. Dental bridges can last around 10 years or longer with regular brushing and flossing. Your dentist can advise on how to care for your bridges.
Restore Your Smile & Oral Health in Hamilton
Losing a tooth can significantly impact your appearance, confidence, and oral health. Fortunately, several options, including dental implants and bridges, can replace missing teeth, helping restore your smile and improve oral health.
Book an appointment with Upper Gage Dental Centre to discuss which replacement option best suits your needs and desired outcome.