A missing tooth can completely change your appearance. It can affect your confidence and make you self-conscious. There are several possible reasons for a missing tooth, including gum disease, severe tooth decay, a genetic condition, or a traumatic injury. No matter what the cause is, a missing tooth can lead to other problems if it’s not replaced. When you are missing a tooth, your speech and ability to chew food properly can be impacted. With just one tooth missing, the integrity of the jawbone is in danger and your teeth can shift toward the empty space. The good news is that your Marietta dental professionals have several treatment options for replacing a missing tooth. These tooth replacements can help restore your beautiful smile!
Three Top Options for Replacing a Missing Tooth
Option 1: Complete or Partial Removable Dentures
Dentures are one of the simplest options for replacing a missing tooth. A removable partial denture is recommended for individuals who are missing just a few teeth. The prosthetic device uses clasps to hold it in place so that the false teeth fill in the appropriate spots. A complete set of dentures, of course, are designed to replace many missing teeth.
Advantages of Removable Dentures
- Can be removed
- If more teeth are lost, teeth can be added to the existing structure saving time and money
- They are one of the least expensive options for tooth replacement
- Dentures are relatively easy to repair or replace when necessary
The disadvantages of removable dentures include:
- Metal clasps may be visible when smiling or speaking
- They may move while eating or speaking
- Dentures must be removed daily for cleaning and sleeping
- They don’t look as “natural” as other options
Option 2: Dental Bridges
Dental bridges are supported by remaining natural teeth, or an implant. Bridges are a good option if two more teeth in a row are missing. Bridges are a fixed solution that is not removable. There must be teeth or implants on either side of the missing teeth to provide anchors for the bridge. The bridge will fasten to the teeth or implants and hold prosthetic teeth in place.
Advantages of Dental Bridges:
- Tooth-supported bridges have a realistic look and feel
- No surgery required
- An economical solution for replacing several missing teeth in the same space
The disadvantages of a dental bridge:
- Bridges will need to be replaced eventually
- The adjoining teeth can become damaged over time
- Adjacent teeth will need a dental crown
- Food particles can slip under the bridge and be difficult to clean
Option 3: Dental Implant for Replacing a Missing Tooth
Dental implants are quickly becoming the most popular choice for replacing missing teeth. They look and feel the most like your natural teeth. You can chew, brush, floss, and smile naturally and normally. An implant is used to replace the root of the missing tooth. A titanium screw or post is placed in the jawbone and allowed to heal. Once it has healed a permanent crown will be cemented on.
Advantages of Dental Implants
- Most effective for replacing a missing tooth
- Natural feel and appearance
- Adjacent teeth remain intact
- Permanent replacement
Disadvantages of Dental Implants
- They are the most expensive option for replacing missing teeth
- It requires a surgical procedure
Consult your Marietta Dental Professionals
If you need a way to replace a missing tooth or teeth, contact our offices to discuss your options with a Marietta dental professional. We can help guide you toward the best option for your situation and condition. If you are missing a tooth or teeth and need more information about treatment options, please call today!