Getting dental bridges is one of the popular ways to replace missing teeth. They are typically recommended when a person is missing about three teeth in a row. Dental bridges have two main components: abutments (crowns) that are placed on the two teeth closest to the gap and artificial teeth that replace the missing teeth…
What To Do about a Missing Tooth
There are numerous things that could cause a missing tooth. It might be due to a large cavity, gum disease, or even traumatic injury. No matter the cause, many patients are concerned about the unattractive gap where the tooth once was. Thankfully, there are procedures that can restore a healthy, attractive smile. Some of the options are fixed in place, while others are removable. The type of treatment rendered greatly depends on each patient's unique situation.
4 treatment options for a missing tooth
Whether the patient is missing one or many teeth, there are restorative options for every situation.
A dental bridge does exactly what it sounds like — it bridges the gap where a tooth is missing with a pontic, or false, tooth. In this procedure, the teeth on either side of the space are crowned in order to hold the false tooth in place. The crowns are fabricated to match the patient's other teeth, and the bridge is securely cemented into place. This is considered a permanent restoration that can last for many years.
Dental implants have become a popular restoration in recent years. They are commonly used to replace a single missing tooth. A screw-like titanium post is placed in the jawbone, and a natural-looking crown is attached to it. While this procedure does take several appointments spaced out over some time, it is considered one of the most favorable options for someone looking to replace one missing tooth. This procedure restores a smile without affecting any of the patient's other teeth.
3. Partial denture
For patients who prefer a removable option for a missing tooth, a partial denture might be the right procedure. This is an appliance that can replace one or many missing teeth. It is secured by metal or acrylic clasps that hook to the adjacent teeth. One downside to this restoration is that it cannot be worn all the time. It must be removed at night and soaked in a cleaning solution.
4. Orthodontic treatment
In some cases, braces can close a gap left by a missing tooth. While this is not always possible, it can be worth talking to your dental care provider. This treatment can be especially useful for children or teens who are congenitally missing certain teeth. It is essential that the patient is compliant with wearing retainers once treatment is complete. If not, the teeth may spread out again.
For patients interested in replacing missing teeth, a thorough consultation with a dentist is recommended. The patient can ask what treatment options are available at the practice and which ones are recommended for their specific situation. When there is a joint effort between all members involved in the care process, the patient can have a healthy, confident smile. Missing teeth no longer have to be a source of embarrassment or worry; instead, patients can feel proud of the smile they wear.
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