So you are missing a tooth or two, what is the big deal, right?
Although you might be thinking missing a tooth here and there is no problem, after all, you have plenty more, right? The truth is even one missing tooth can be a problem. Missing teeth lead to other oral or health-related concerns, and should not be ignored.
But, what if it is just one tooth?
A single missing tooth can contribute to many other problems with your oral health including a misaligned bite that can lead to temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ Disorder), headaches, and even migraines. Eventually, a missing tooth will cause other teeth to drift out of their natural alignment, which not only causes an uneven bite but may decrease chewing functionality. Not to mention, missing teeth can even begin to cause one’s face to look misshapen.
Although one missing tooth may not seem like a big deal at first, over time, it will lead to other, more costly problems later on. However, sometimes there is simply no better way to treat a tooth other than an extraction to remove it. When this is the case, what are your options to replace the missing tooth?
Even when a tooth is beyond repair and has to be extracted, there are options for replacing it. Here is a look at the most common tooth replacement options.
A dental bridge may be ideal for some patients. It consists of three or more dental crowns fused together. The crowns on each end fit directly over the existing teeth that are on either side of the space, with a “pontic” tooth in the middle. In the end, a dental bridge looks like three separate teeth, while filling the space of the missing tooth.
A partial denture is another tooth replacement option, although not typical for just one missing tooth. A partial denture is removable, unlike a dental bridge, which means it has to be taken out to be cleaned. The partial is held into place with either metal or acrylic clasps that attach to existing teeth in your mouth. There is a false tooth on the partial that takes the place of the missing tooth.
However, the next best option to replacing a single missing tooth is a dental implant. A dental implant consists of a titanium post that is placed in the jawbone permanently to take the place of the tooth’s root. Then, an abutment is attached to the portion of the post that is visible above the gum, and a permanent dental crown is attached to the abutment. Once the dental implant is complete it will look, feel, and function like a natural tooth. When considering a dental implant to replace a missing tooth, the sooner, the better, since jawbone begins to diminish after a tooth extraction.
A dental implant can last a lifetime with proper dental hygiene and regular dental checkups and cleanings. If you have a missing tooth and would like to consider your options to restore your bite and smile, contact Wall Street Dentistry by calling (256) 878-0525.
Wall Street Dentistry welcomes patients of Albertville, Boaz, and Guntersville, AL.