If you need a tooth replacement, it is nice to know that various treatments are available. Permanent teeth are meant to last a lifetime. The enamel layer of a tooth is made of the hardest substance in the body. Still, teeth can break or fall out due to trauma or severe decay. Your dentist can discuss your options with you and decide which replacement makes the most sense. If you have one missing tooth, you can restore your smile and the full function of your mouth.
The problems with missing teeth
Losing a tooth can cause a few different problems that an individual would want to address. First, it can be embarrassing to have a gap in the mouth. Needing a tooth replacement could cause the person to want to avoid being around other people. There are also health implications. One missing tooth could lead to infection. Having a missing tooth can also cause other teeth to become loose and fall out.
This treatment literally bridges the gap that the missing tooth causes in the mouth. A dental bridge consists of crowns and an artificial tooth called a pontic. The dentist will place crowns over the teeth on either side of the gap. The pontic fills in the space and gives the person a full smile again. A metal framework holds the bridge together. Another alternative to a bridge is to place implants instead of crowns over the existing teeth.
The process of getting an implant is more invasive and involved. But implants also last longer — sometimes up to 20 years or more. The dentist begins this tooth-replacement procedure by inserting a screw-like titanium post into the jawbone. The post and bone fuse over the next few months. The patient returns to the office, where the dentist reopens the gums, exposing the post. Then the dentist attaches a connector piece called an abutment.
Once the patient heals from this surgery, the final step will occur. At this next visit, the dentist places a crown on the abutment. It is natural-looking in size, shape, and color. Once complete, the implants allow the patient to eat most foods.
For a single tooth replacement, partial dentures can be effective. These are removable, so the patient can clean them and help them to last longer. There is a base that the patient snaps into place over the existing teeth with the help of metal clasps. An artificial tooth fills in the missing space in the mouth. This gives the person a normal smile again. The dentist can repair or replace the dentures if there is any damage.
Choose the right tooth replacement for you
If you have lost a permanent tooth, you may feel stressed or upset. You do not have to live with an unattractive gap in your mouth. Replacing one tooth is possible with a few different options. Your dentist can help you decide which method will be most effective. Then, you can have a full smile once more.
Request an appointment here: https://www.dentistrywalnutcreek.com or call Advanced Dentistry Of Walnut Creek at (925) 937-2273 for an appointment in our Walnut Creek office.
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