A missing tooth is more than just a cosmetic concern. When a tooth is lost, the bone in the jaw no longer receives a stimulation, and it begins to deteriorate. Additionally, a gap in the mouth can also create other dental concerns. Teeth next to the gap can begin to shift toward the gap, which can cause discomfort, crookedness, and TMJ disorder.
Here are the options to replace the missing teeth:
A dental bridge can be an effective replacement for a single missing tooth. The bridge itself consists of a replacement tooth, or teeth, that is fused to crowns that are placed over the two surrounding teeth. The crowns and the false tooth in the middle are permanent fixtures that hold the dental bridge in place on your teeth. There are several types of dental bridges, including fixed and removable bridges. While both types can support your bite, it depends on the current condition of your teeth and mouth. Your dentist can help you determine which type of bridge is best for you.
Dental implants are a permanent tooth replacement option that most closely mimics your natural teeth in terms of function, appearance, and feels. The implant process works by placing a fixture securely in the jawbone and attaching it to the abutment. An abutment serves as a connector between the fixture and the restoration. Once the implant has healed, an abutment will be attached to the fixture, and a dental crown or bridge will be secured on top of the abutment to create a new, complete smile.
Caring for dental implants is similar to caring for your natural teeth. Brushing your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste and cleaning between your teeth with floss or an interdental cleaner will help prevent decay and periodontal disease. Regular professional cleanings and exams are also vital to maintaining healthy gums and overall oral health. Additionally, avoiding habits such as grinding your teeth will prevent damage to your restorations.
While dentures are a common way to replace missing teeth, they are not the only option. Traditional removable dentures rest on top of the gums and are not fixed in place. Partial dentures are used when you still have some healthy natural teeth remaining. Full dentures replace an entire arch of teeth and can be removed for cleaning.
For more information about other tooth replacement options, visit Englewood Dentistry at 334 Grand Ave, Englewood 07631, or call (201) 541-8111.