A missing tooth can have a serious effectf on the look of your smile, and it can also make daily activities a little more difficult. Fortunately, there are several options available to replace the missing tooth. A missing tooth can even cause other teeth to slowly move out of place. These are all reasons why you should consider tooth replacement. Here is a brief breakdown of the different dental procedures you can pick from to replace that missing tooth.
Dental implants offer a permanent tooth replacement option. They can be used whether you are missing one tooth or several. The actual implant is a screw-like device that is implanted in your jaw. It connects to a prosthetic crown designed to create the appearance and function of a real tooth. In order to get implants, you must undergo a surgical procedure.
Removable partials are dentures that replace only a single tooth or a few teeth. They fit over your gums and can be secured in place with denture adhesive. While getting partials may be less invasive than some of the other options, it is not a permanent fix. If you lose or break your partial dentures, you will still be left with a gap in your smile. You may also have to have the partials replaced as you age, as your other teeth may shift over time.
Fixed bridges are another option for tooth replacement that is more permanent. Your dentist uses a combination of a new prosthetic tooth and dental bonding or cement to fill in the space where your tooth is missing. Your dentist will prepare the teeth on either side of the missing tooth to hold the bridge in place, and the bonding or cement is used to affix the prosthetic in place. Fixed bridges do require a bit of extra work to keep them clean, is food and plaque can build up under the bridge.
Your dentist will be able to help you weigh the pros and cons of each option. Be sure to give him or her a complete medical history so you can select the option that is safe for you, and don't forget to ask any questions you may have before you schedule your tooth replacement appointment. Once you decide on a method of replacing your tooth, you can begin to plan for a life with a restored smile and renewed confidence.