When a tooth is missing, many patients look for a permanent and fast solution. However, deciding which tooth replacement option to choose can be overwhelming. Dentures, crown and bridge appliances, and dental implants all have individual advantages. Dr. Vidya Suri of Sycamore Dental helps patients in the Fort Worth, TX ⤴, area decide which tooth replacement option they should choose.
The importance of replacing a missing tooth
A missing tooth can clearly affect a person’s self-confidence. Often, patients will hide their mouth or avoid social or professional situations where others might notice the lost tooth. However, the risks of a missing tooth are more than just cosmetic. In fact, a missing tooth can negatively impact a person’s oral health as well. When a tooth is lost, the remaining teeth may shift out of place, creating pockets were food particles and bacteria can become trapped, leading to decay or gum disease. Additionally, a tooth’s root provides stimulation to the jawbone. Without it, the bone can begin to lose density and no longer support the face.
Understanding your replacement tooth options
There are several options to replacing your missing tooth, or teeth.
- Crown and bridge appliances: One of the most common replacement tooth options is a crown and bridge appliance. With this appliance a crown is attached to the two teeth on either side of the missing tooth, or teeth. Then the replacement teeth are attached to the crowns to “bridge” the gap.
- Dentures: When most patients think about replacement tooth options they remember the dentures their parents or grandparents used to have. While technology has improved a great deal in recent decades and dentures are far more effective than they used to be, the concept is much the same. Dentures are false teeth that are custom made to match the shade and shape of a patient’s natural teeth. They can replace a single tooth, several teeth, or an entire arch of teeth. Dentures can snap into place using a metal clasp or can use a paste to adhere them to the gums.
- Dental implants: For patients who want a typically permanent replacement tooth option that functions much like their original teeth, dental implants are the best choice. A dental implant is basically a replacement tooth root. A very small metal rod is inserted into the jawbone. The bone is given time to heal, which provides stability and function to the tooth. Once the implant area has healed, a dental crown is attached to the post to give the function and appearance of a natural tooth. The procedures are performed with the patient appropriately numbed and sedation is available to ensure that the patient remains comfortable.
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Advantages of dental implants
There are several advantages of dental implants.
- Appearance: The biggest advantage of dental implants is the appearance of the replacement tooth. The dental crown is custom made according to the dentist’s specifications, which allows the replacement tooth to be a match to the remaining natural teeth. No one will ever be able to tell that the tooth isn’t a natural tooth.
- Function: Most patients who opt for implants do so because they want a solution that makes them feel confident and comfortable. With implants, there is no need to remove the restoration and it functions exactly like the original. Patients can eat their favorite foods, speak clearly, and smile brightly, knowing that their new tooth is secure and durable.
- Longevity: The dental implant process will take several months, because the jaw and mouth must be given time to heal. However, once the implant and cap are securely placed, it stays put for many years. Most implants last 20 years, or more. Furthermore, taking care of a dental implant is just like taking care of your natural teeth. Brushing, flossing, and regular dental checkups are critical. These oral hygiene practices ensure that your mouth stays free from bacteria and food particles that can damage replacement, and natural, teeth.
If you’re considering dental implants and need more information, contact Sycamore Dental today at (817) 438-1828. Dr. Suri will talk with you about your dental health, lifestyle, timeline, and budget to determine if implants are the best choice for your unique situation.
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