Single Missing Tooth


Intro to Dental Implants   Dental Implants 101  Dental Implants vs Dentures  Single Missing Tooth

Multiple Missing Teeth  Implant Supported Dentures  Are Dental Implants right for me?  FAQs


Many individuals find themselves with a missing permanent tooth at some time in their lives.  The cause can be related to tooth decay, gum disease, or even an injury.  Typically, one of three treatment methods is used to remedy a missing tooth, they include the use of a removable denture, a bridge, or a dental implant.  Each method has its benefits and drawbacks, but dental tooth implants are thought to be most effective.



Removable partial denture units

Removable partial dentures are used for one or two missing teeth.  They are usually made up of two artificial teeth that are set in plastic.  The plastic resembles gums in both color and shape.  A strip of metal supports the artificial teeth, and allows the denture to clasp on to healthy, natural teeth.  Partial dentures can be bulky and uncomfortable to wear.  It is common to hear patients complain at the discomfort they cause as well as their unattractive metal clasps.


Bridge

A bridge, which is another word for fixed partial denture, works by hanging an artificial tooth between two natural teeth.  The artificial tooth is glued with a cement-like dental compound to the adjacent teeth, holding it in place.  While a bridge allows a patient to replace a single tooth without tooth surgery, one major drawback is that one tooth on either side of the artificial tooth have to be filed down in order for the bridge to fit in place properly.


Single teeth replaced with dental implants

Using a tooth implant to replace a single missing tooth is among the best treatment options available for many reasons. The titanium implant base is compatible with human tissues and doesn’t generally cause irritation.  Instead, it provides a foundation for bone cells to adhere to and assimilates with the natural bone the patient possesses already.  This process is called osseointegration, and creates an exceptionally strong bond.  It enables the tooth to function in a way similar to a natural tooth.  The implant mimics both tooth and root in form and function, allowing the jaw to become stimulated and contribute to bone strength.  Those who choose dentures or bridges over implants can impact the health of the gums and jaw in detrimental ways.  Certain foods may be restricted when an individual has had a bridge or partial denture installed.  

Regular flossing, brushing, and dental checkups are recommended for individuals with a tooth implant just as they are for individuals without one.  When cared for properly, dental tooth implants can last a lifetime.



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