If you have a single missing tooth, there are many ways to replace it. It’s important to weigh out the cost, longevity and potential side effects of each option before selecting one for your smile. If you’re a patient at Clinton Dental Center, we will go over all of these factors in detail so you can make an informed decision. Read on to find out what the best option is for replacing a single tooth.
Can the Original Tooth Be Salvaged?
Before discussing tooth replacement options, your dentist will evaluate the existing tooth. If it can be salvaged with a long-term solution, that will be the first recommendation. For instance, if the tooth has a minor chip or crack, your dentist may be able to repair it with dental bonding. This will fill in the broken areas and make your tooth look like new again.
If the tooth cannot be salvaged, your dentist will talk about removing it or preparing it for a replacement option.
Removing the Tooth without Replacing It
You may be tempted to have the tooth removed without replacing it. If the tooth is prone to infection, removing it may alleviate oral pain. However, removing a tooth without replacement is not usually an ideal option. The gap that is left in your smile will create space for your other teeth to shift into. This affects your bite, your facial structure, your ability to chew, and much more. If the tooth is in a visible part of your smile, you also have the cosmetic factors to consider.
Removing a tooth may be your best short-term solution, but in the long run, you need to look into a replacement option. Even if you cannot execute those plans right now, your dentist may be able to prepare you/your tooth for the road ahead.
Dental Implants for Missing Teeth
By far, the best option for replacing a single tooth is a dental implant with a crown. Dental implants are designed to mimic your natural tooth root. A titanium post goes into your jawbone, and the bone forms around the ridges on the side. This strengthens your jaw and creates a lasting bond between the implant and your body.
Once the dental implant has healed, an abutment is secured to it. This is a small stud that a crown can be attached to. Your dentist will create a custom crown that blends naturally with your smile. Dental implants are more expensive than other tooth replacement options, but they last significantly longer and they provide the best replica of your natural teeth. This reduces the risk of side effects, as we will mention for the other options.
Dental Bridges and Partial Dentures
Earlier this month, we discussed the different types of dental bridges that are currently available. This includes cantilever bridges, fixed bridges and bonded bridges. While these options are built to last, none of them are permanent. Eventually, the bridge will have to be replaced, which adds to the overall cost of care. Beyond that, dental bridges can lead to gum erosion, tooth decay, and other oral health issues because food can get trapped between the gum and the bridge.
Partial dentures have similar side effects, and they require additional care because they are removable. Depending on how the dentures are secured, they may impact your speech. Partial dentures may be uncomfortable at first because they take up more space than your natural teeth do. This is something you may get used to over time, but it is worth keeping in mind.
Your jaw needs your teeth for strength. When a tooth is missing, the bone in that area recedes – along with the gums. Dental bridges and partial dentures do not replace missing teeth roots and are thus incapable of stopping recession. That is why dental implants are the superior choice for replacing a single tooth.
Finding the Right Replacement Option for Your Missing Tooth
The best way to determine which replacement option is right for you is to come in for a consultation. Contact Clinton Dental Center at (586) 949-5363 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Sadikoff. You may also visit us at:
Clinton Dental Center
52892 Gratiot Ave. – Suite 4
Chesterfield, MI 48051