What are the best single tooth replacement options?
If you’re missing a tooth, you’re probably wondering about your single tooth replacement options. When you visit a dentist, you can expect a thorough discussion of all your tooth replacement options, such as dental bridges, partial dentures, and dental implants. You should ideally get tooth replacements that look and feel completely natural. Below, we describe the unique benefits of various tooth replacement options.
A dental bridge is a row of fake teeth supported by dental crowns or dental implants on both sides. If you’re missing one tooth, your dental bridge will consist of one fake tooth (pontic) in the middle, surrounded by two dental crowns. The dentist will have to shave some of the enamel off the abutment teeth, i.e., the teeth located on either side of the missing teeth. The dental crown is attached to the abutment teeth, and they support the fake tooth in the middle. Since the replacement tooth is supported by natural abutment teeth, the entire dental bridge structure is completely stable.
However, dental bridges don’t replace the natural functionality of your teeth. In order to receive a dental bridge, you need to modify the two surrounding teeth, so this procedure is certainly not conservative. Once the abutment teeth are filed down, they will always need dental crowns. Furthermore, the dental bridge doesn’t support the underlying jawbone tissues. When you lose a tooth, the underlying jawbone tissues start disintegrating, and dental bridges can’t stop the natural degradation process. That means your underlying jawbone tissues will continue getting resorbed by the body over several months and years, which can cause facial sagging.
A partial denture is a fake tooth supported by a gum-colored base attached to the back of your natural teeth. The partial denture essentially replaces the visibility of the natural tooth. But it can’t replace the functionality and sensation of natural teeth. Dentures are removable, and you must remove the partial denture occasionally for cleaning. Partial dentures also have the risk of slipping or sliding out of place because they’re not attached to your jawbone. Furthermore, partial dentures don’t support your underlying jawbone tissues, so your jawbone will continue getting reabsorbed by the body.
Single Tooth Implant
A single tooth implant is a titanium dental implant that’s drilled into the jawbone underneath the empty socket of the missing tooth. The titanium implant is essentially a replacement for the missing tooth’s root structure — not the visible crown. Over time, your body produces new jawbone tissues that fuse with the titanium implant, making the tooth implant a firmly-rooted part of your dental anatomy. Once your titanium tooth implant is firmly rooted, the dentist can attach a dental crown to the implant, thus replacing the missing tooth completely. Titanium dental implants are the perfect replacements for missing teeth — they look, feel, and function like natural teeth.
What can I do to replace a missing tooth?
If you have a missing tooth, you need to consider all of your tooth replacement options. As highlighted above, you can replace missing teeth with dental bridges, dentures, or dental implants. Dental bridges and dentures only replace the visible components of your missing teeth — not the underlying root structure. But dental implants replace the root structures of missing teeth, making them firmly rooted parts of your dental anatomy. If you want a permanent tooth replacement option that looks, feels, and functions like a natural tooth, you must consult a dental implant specialist near your location.
Why would I replace a missing tooth?
You must never leave your tooth socket empty. If you’re missing a tooth, you need to consider all of your tooth replacement options. Even if the missing tooth is located in the back of your mouth, you should still consider tooth replacement. Unless the missing tooth is a wisdom tooth, the importance of replacing the missing tooth shouldn’t be undermined.
The following are the most important reasons to replace a missing tooth:
- Aesthetic Value: You should replace the missing tooth to restore the beauty of your smile. The appearance and beauty of your smile contribute to your general confidence and self-esteem, so you shouldn’t leave the socket empty.
- Prevent Misalignment: When you lose a tooth, the surrounding teeth start shifting towards the empty socket, leading to dental misalignment. If you replace the missing tooth, the surrounding teeth are kept in place.
- Support Jawbone: The loss of teeth triggers the gradual absorption of your natural jawbone tissues. You need to consider your teeth replacement options, specifically dental implants, to offer optimal support to your jawbone and prevent its resorption.
A dental bridge or a dental implant?
A dental implant is generally considered to be the best tooth-replacement option available. A dental bridge can only replace the visible component of the missing tooth, and the dentist must modify the surrounding natural teeth. But a dental implant replaces the root structure of the missing tooth, so it ensures optimal tooth replacement. The dentist doesn’t have to modify the surrounding teeth to accommodate dental implants, so they’re also more conservative.
Schedule an appointment at the dental implant center in Houston
URBN Dental is a state-of-the-art dental implant center specializing in full dental implants and dental implant restorations, including dental crowns, dental bridges, dentures, all-on-4 dental implants, and titanium tooth implants. Our dental implant dentists examine your teeth, discuss your goals, review your medical history, and curate personalized treatment plans to help you replace your missing teeth. You can find our dental implant specialists in Uptown Houston, Midtown Houston, Montrose, or East River. Please schedule an appointment at the dental implant center in Houston.