Whether you have lost a tooth due to poor oral hygiene or an accident, it is very important that you consider having it replaced. A single missing tooth can create a chain of reactions that can be detrimental to your oral health. That small gap in your smile can lead to bone loss, teeth shifting, decay, gum disease and even further tooth loss.
If you have a single missing or damage tooth, Park Dental in Hilliard, OH offers a few options to replace it. Dr. Siddhi Patel is an experienced restorative dentist and will review all the pros and cons of your options to help you make the right decision. In most cases, he will recommend a dental crown that is supported by a single dental implant to replace the tooth. This option has a success rate of over 95% and is the most natural solution.
Single Dental Implant
A single dental implant is intended to replace the tooth root and hold the replacement tooth in place (a dental crown.) Replacing the tooth’s root is what makes this option different from the rest. This will preserve the jaw and prevent bone loss. An implant supported dental crown is easy to care for, requiring the same care as a natural tooth. It will also function and look like a real tooth.
The implant must be surgically placed in the jaw bone and will require about three to six months to properly heal. During this time, the implant (a cylinder post made of titanium) will fuse with the surrounding bone. Then a small part called an abutment will be attached to the implant. After an additional two weeks of healing, the final and permanent dental crown will be placed.
There are a few downsides to choosing a dental implant to replace your tooth. The process is quite lengthy and will take months to complete possibly even longer depending on the state of your oral health. While age is not a factor, you must be healthy enough overall to undergo surgery. Also, the price for an implant supported crown typically costs more than your other options.
Dental Implant vs Dental Bridge
A fixed dental bridge can also be used to replace a single missing tooth. A bridge is made up of two dental crowns with the replacement tooth placed in between them (the pontic). They are fused together to create the dental restoration. This option has been used for many years by dentists. The process to have a bridge placed should take less than a month and it does not cost as much as a dental implant.
The two crowns need to be cemented to two anchor teeth located on both sides of the gap. This means two perfectly healthy teeth need to be prepared to accommodate the dental crowns. Those two teeth will be significantly reduced just to replace one tooth. While this option is cheaper and faster, it will damage healthy teeth and also create extra stress on them.