Missing a tooth? Today we'll discuss why it's important to replace it, and review two replacement options: dental implants and dental bridges.
A Customized Dental Treatment Plan
It is important to know your options when it comes to missing a tooth (either genetically or because of tooth decay). It is important to discuss with your dentist how you want to replace the missing space in your arch.
A customized treatment planning is made easier when you are aware of all your options and have discussed your needs and wants with you dentist.
Replacing the missing space will prevent a number of future dental problems.
When a tooth is missing in an arch you are deprived of vital bite force needed to chew your food. Missing teeth may prevent you from enjoy your favorite meal! When treatment is delayed a number of changes happen in your mouth. The teeth on either side of the missing teeth start to drift as your body tries to close the space.
This movement however can lead to periodontal issue with the drifting teeth and may make it impossible to restore the missing tooth. Movement of the upper tooth (opposing tooth) can cause super-eruption. Super-eruption is when your top tooth begins to continuously come down in attempt to find its missing partner. This too can cause problems in the future.
When replacing you have two fixed (permanent) options: a dental implant or a dental bridge.
An implant consists of a medical grade titanium implant being placed in your jaw bone. The implant is then integrated into the body and your bone begins to heal around it. Once healed, an implant crown is fabricated that is either screwed into or cemented onto the implant.
A bridge is when a missing space is restored by attaching (or bridging) the adjacent teeth. The teeth behind and infront of the missing tooth are trimmed down to fit a crown. The three crowns (2 on the adjacent teeth, one pontic or fake tooth to replace the missing) are then cemented in place.