And, even though it is a single tooth, you will experience bone loss, which can then cause your adjacent teeth to shift. Shifting then leads to uneven tooth wear and TMJ problems. Fortunately, there are a few different options for replacing your missing tooth.
Fixed Dental BridgeOne popular choice is a fixed bridge. This restoration places the false tooth between two crowns, which are attached to your surrounding healthy teeth. The healthy teeth, then act as anchors to hold the bridge in place.
Typically made from ceramic, which allows for color matching, your dentist prepares the adjacent (abutment) teeth by filing them down, which allows for the crown to fit comfortably in place, while looking completely natural.
Impressions are taken, and the color of your teeth matched. This information is sent to a lab, which then creates your bridge. When ready, your dentist will fit the bridge and cement it in place. While the bridge cannot stop bone loss, it can prevent your teeth from shifting, while restoring the appearance and function of your mouth.
A Maryland bride is similar to a fixed bridge, with the exception that it doesn't rely on crowns to attach to abutment teeth. Instead, the false tooth is held to your surrounding teeth by metal wings, which are cemented in place. Again, it cannot prevent bone loss, but it does hold your teeth in place.
Dental ImplantsOne of the best options for replacing a missing tooth is a single tooth implant. A surgical procedure places a titanium rod in your jawbone. As it heals, it fuses to the bone, providing a strong, stable "root" to which an abutment and crown are attached. Implants look completely natural and don't rely on adjacent teeth. And the titanium rod performs similar to the root of your tooth, stimulating your jawbone.
By doing so, this prevents bone loss, keeping your jaw strong. However, the only drawback is that if you have been missing the tooth for a long time, you may not have sufficient bone mass to successfully support the implant.
If you are missing a single tooth, no matter what the reason, you should have it replaced. Contact our office to schedule an appointment today to discuss your options.