You may not fully understand how important each and every tooth in your mouth is until you try living with a gap in your grin. Even if just one tooth is gone, the effects can be devastating: your jawbone will start to lose its density, your gums will start to deteriorate, your other teeth will shift out of place, and you might even be in danger of additional tooth loss. These oral health issues will not get better over time; if you want to avoid the worst of the dental damage, you need to get in touch with the Carlson Dental Group as soon as possible to ask about tooth replacement options.
There are generally two viable options for replacing a single tooth. The traditional method is with a dental bridge, also called a fixed bridge or a crown and bridge. A single prosthetic tooth is connected to a pair of dental crowns. Each crown is then attached to the abutment teeth (the teeth on either side of the gap that was left behind when the tooth was lost). This way, the prosthetic tooth can fill in the empty space. The results typically have a very natural appearance, and the restoration will prevent dental drift.
However, if you want to replace the entire structure of the tooth and avoid making permanent changes to your remaining teeth, we may recommend a single tooth implant. We can place a small titanium post in your jawbone to act as a tooth root. Once it has become permanently attached to the bone, a crown can be anchored to it. This process usually takes a few months (since it takes time for the implant to fuse with the surrounding bone, and the crown can’t be placed until this process is complete), but the end result is a new tooth that looks, feels, and functions like a natural one.
As useful as a dental bridge can be, your expert dentists at the Carlson Dental Group will generally recommend dental implants for the following reasons: