Missing teeth can have a significant impact on your life. They can cause physical and emotional discomfort by affecting your appearance and your ability to chew and eat. A missing tooth can also lead to further gum disease or damage to your teeth. Whether you’ve lost a tooth due to decay, injury, or another cause, it can be frustrating to deal with daily.
Dental professionals have several ways they can replace a missing tooth. Through the use of dental implants, bridges, and dentures, a dentist can replace your missing tooth and help bring your smile back.
You can pick a dentist to suit your needs by understanding the options available. Making an informed decision about your dental health gives you the best chance to return to life with a happy smile.
What Options Are Available for Missing Teeth?
When replacing a missing tooth, you typically have three options: dental implants, bridges, or dentures.
Dental implants are popular for replacing missing teeth, as they’re permanent and function just like natural teeth. A small post is surgically attached to your jawbone, with a replacement tooth fixed to the post. These can also be used to support bridges or dentures.
These implants require support from healthy gums and bone density. The procedure can take weeks or months to heal and set correctly. A dentist can assess the health of your teeth, gums, and jaw to determine whether an implant is an appropriate solution for your missing tooth.
An alternative to traditional dental implants, a dental bridge is an artificial tooth attached to your existing healthy teeth. The teeth supporting the bridge are typically reinforced with a filling or crown to help them hold up the new implant. There are several different types of bridges that can be installed, and your dentist can recommend the appropriate one for your situation once they’ve assessed your teeth.
Typically, these are installed over several appointments. The dentist may remove a small bit of enamel to make room for the replacement before taking an impression of your teeth. They’ll send this impression out so a bridge can be custom-made to fit you. Once they receive this bridge, you’ll go back in for the installation, where the dentist can make any final adjustments.
Dentures are the removable option for missing teeth. They can replace either a full set of teeth or just a few. They’re typically made of a resin material and can be attached to the remaining teeth through implant posts, adhesives, suction, or clasps.
These require regular cleaning and may need to be adjusted over time. They may cause discomfort for a short period while you get used to wearing them.
What Are the Benefits of Replacing Missing Teeth?
Replacing a missing tooth can improve your appearance and quality of life. Replacing a missing tooth can make chewing and talking easier and help prevent further oral problems from developing.
Missing teeth can lead to all kinds of other problems. Gum disease, bone disease, tooth decay, and infections can all develop by having a missing tooth, and your teeth can shift if left untreated. By replacing the tooth, you restore the natural structure of your mouth.
What to Expect When Getting a Tooth Replaced
The process of getting a tooth replaced varies depending on the method chosen. Whether you decide on implants, bridges, or dentures, your experience may change.
When going with a dental implant, the process begins by surgically placing a small metal post in your jaw. This serves as an artificial root and can take some time to fuse properly with your natural bone. This provides a stable foundation for the rest of the implant.
When choosing a bridge, a dentist typically removes a small amount of your enamel before taking an impression or scan of your teeth. They then send this impression to a dental laboratory for a bridge to be custom-made for your teeth. The dentist will have you return so they can install the bridge.
Dentures take less preparation than the other options. The dentist can take an impression or create a mould of your mouth to fit the dentures to your teeth. Once they’re made, the dentist can advise you on adequately using and cleaning them.
How to Choose a Dentist for Tooth Replacement
Choosing the right dentist for your situation can make all the difference. It’s important to research beforehand to find a dentist who has experience with tooth replacement procedures. You can also look at reviews online or call the office to ask about their tooth replacement experience.
When meeting your dentist, it’s essential to ask questions about anything that you may feel apprehensive about. By taking the time to understand every step of the procedure, you can go into the tooth replacement process feeling much more confident. With your dentist at your side, you can have an easy tooth replacement performed and restore your natural smile! Schedule an appointment with us at Dental Haus to speak with a qualified and caring today.