Losing a tooth can negatively impact both your ability to chew and the appearance of your smile. Nevertheless, your dentist can fill the gap from a lost tooth. There are multiple restorative treatments available. Here are a few of them.
Dental Implants With Crowns
A dental implant replaces the roots of a missing tooth. The device, which is typically a titanium rod or screw, is inserted into the bone of the jaw.
The Implantation procedure, which is performed using local anesthesia, is painless and can be conducted in your dentist's office. A surgical facility is not required.
After the placement of a dental implant, the resulting wound is permitted to heal. The healing process, which is called osseointegration, results in the stabilization of the implanted device.
During osseointegration, the jawbone grows around the implant, securing it in place. The resulting stabilization mimics the stability of a natural tooth in its socket.
After the implant wound has healed, the dentist contours the gums around the device and adds an abutment. Next, the dentist applies a dental crown to complete the restoration.
There are multiple tooth-colored crown materials available that can be matched to the patient's natural tooth color. Consequently, the final look of the restoration is quite natural.
Fixed Dental Bridges
A fixed dental bridge is also a common option to replace a missing tooth. The bridge includes a pontic, or false replacement tooth. Additionally, the device includes two bridge crowns that attach to the abutment teeth to hold the bridge in a fixed position.
Before a dental bridge is prepared, the dentist creates a mold of the patient's mouth. This mold ensures that the bridge fits seamlessly with the patient's natural teeth.
Prior to the placement of a fixed bridge, a small amount of tooth material is removed from the abutment teeth. The removal of the material helps ensure that the bridge fits flush in the mouth without changing the patient's natural bite. Still, due to this permanent alteration of the abutment teeth, the teeth must remain covered and protected by crowns.
In instances in which there is only one available abutment tooth, the other bridge crown can connect to a dental implant.
Bridges are designed to last a lifetime. However, if the device becomes damaged, the dentist may remove and replace it.
If you have lost a tooth, schedule a consultation with a dentist in your local area to review your restorative dentistry services options.