It is a common occurrence for dental patients to face the dilemma of a missing tooth. This often happens due to trauma, such as an injury or accident, or dental disease. It is important for persons to replace any missing teeth as soon as possible to ensure optimal oral health. A missing tooth can cause a shift in the bite of the teeth and lead to gum disease and cavities.
Available options for replacing a missing tooth
Patients who need a replacement tooth have many treatment alternatives available to help restore their smile. The following choices are a few of the more common procedures that are used by dentists.
A dental implant is most frequently used to replace a single missing tooth. This surgical procedure involves an artificial tooth root, usually comprised of titanium, that is implanted into the jaw. After this procedure is completed, the implant begins to grow and fuse together with the jawbone in a process known as osseointegration, which may take several months to complete. This provides a sturdy base for the custom-made tooth, which is attached to the implant afterward with a connecting abutment. A temporary crown can be used during the waiting process for cosmetic purposes.
This treatment option is often preferred by many patients since the implant has the appearance of a real tooth, which provides a more natural look and feel. Dental implants are also sturdy and can last for many years.
Removable partial dentures
This replacement choice is typically needed for a smaller section of multiple missing teeth. Removable partial dentures consist of a gum-colored base piece, usually made of plastic or resin, that blends in naturally with the gums. Artificial replacement teeth are then adhered into place in the base. The denture appliance is attached to other nearby teeth with a type of clasp that holds it in place. These partial dentures can be easily removed for cleaning and may provide a more affordable option.
A flipper tooth is a prosthetic tooth made of resin that can restore a natural smile and prevent other teeth from shifting after a tooth has fallen out. This replacement option is usually temporary and is normally used for cosmetic purposes while waiting for a more permanent treatment for a missing tooth.
A dental bridge is an alternative that is frequently used for dental patients who are missing multiple teeth in one area of the mouth. The bridge uses customized prosthetic teeth that are carefully sculpted to fit in with the adjoining teeth and are cemented into place. A fixed bridge is permanent and may be a more affordable choice.
Having a beautiful smile is a vital part of self-confidence. Dental patients who are dealing with a missing tooth have multiple alternatives available to replace the tooth for long-lasting results. A dentist can help determine which replacement choice will meet the individual's requirements, and the patient can once again feel confident with a functioning tooth and a beautiful smile.
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