What should you do if you are missing a tooth or more than one tooth? The following are options for solving the missing tooth problem
- Leave the space and do nothing. This is most often the least desirable solution, but it is an option. Teeth shift and tilt over time to fill the space. Your bite, bone support and facial support all can be negatively impacted with a gap between teeth over time.
- Bridge – also known as a fixed partial denture: You may have larger restorations on teeth on either side of the space, or current crowns with recurrent decay. In these instances, a bridge could be a logical solution. It can fill the space while taking care of the issues on the other teeth. The negative side of bridges is they do require removal of tooth structure and need to be replaced in time. Our goal is to preserve teeth and be as conservative as possible.
- Partial denture or a flipper: Partials are a removable solution. The pro’s are that it can replace many missing teeth, and is more economical. It’s something to take in and out, can affect taste buds and speech. Many people have a partial made and never are comfortable wearing it.
- Dental implant: An implant is ideal in many situations. A dental implant involves a surgical procedure and biologic process called osseointegration. Titanium, which the implant is made from, is very biocompatible with bone, and once the bone integrates, there is a bond between implant and bond. Having the implant in the bone makes the bone have a purpose. Without a tooth in your mandible or maxilla, bone loss will occur. Implants have a very high success rate and can be used to replace missing front or back teeth or hold in a denture.
For further discussion on solutions for missing teeth, talk with your dentist at your next appointment with Life Smiles, a family dentistry in Plymouth, MN.