Options for single tooth replacement
A gap in your teeth can make you feel self-conscious about smiling or make you want to cover your mouth when you do. Fortunately, there are a number of options to replace your missing tooth.
If you want your new tooth to look, feel and chew like a natural tooth, choosing a dental implant may be your best bet. A dental implant essentially serves as an anchor, hidden underneath your gums, much like the root of a tooth. This anchor is the foundation to supporting a crown, the visible portion of tooth in your mouth.
Some advantages of dental implants include:
- Enjoying a long-lasting, permanent solution
- Dental implant care is similar as how you care for your natural tooth
- An implant provides a very natural look and feel
- As an independent solution, your adjacent teeth do not need to be involved in stabilizing your replacement tooth
A tooth-supported bridge uses the two healthy teeth on either side of your gap to cement a new crown into the space. This traditional bridge technique is effective but comes with a unique set of pros and cons compared to dental implants.
Advantages of tooth-supported bridges:
- Realistic look and feel
- No surgery is required, so treatment is less invasive
- Possibly lower upfront expense
Disadvantage of tooth-supported bridges:
- Adjacent teeth must be shaped in order to fit the bridge, meaning that the tooth on each side of gap must be prepared in a similar fashion to receive a crown.
A partial denture involves the installation of metal clasps in your mouth so that your tooth replacement can snap into place. While a partial denture does fill the gap in your smile, the new tooth does not function the same way as your natural teeth. Partial dentures can be uncomfortable and need to be removed and cleaned daily and taken out at night.
Whether your tooth was lost through injury, gum disease, or decay, getting your old smile back is as simple as talking to your dentist about which single tooth replacement treatment is right for you.