Don't Let a Missing Tooth Hold You Back in Life

3 Options To Replace A Missing Tooth

by Wyatt Morgan

If you have a missing tooth, you may feel self-conscious about the unfilled space in your mouth. In addition, the missing tooth can make chewing more difficult and allow food to become trapped in the hollow area as you eat. You may even notice that your teeth are becoming misaligned over time, because the tooth that once occupied the space served as a placeholder for adjacent teeth. Still, there are ways to restore your tooth. Here are a few:

Dental Bridge

A dental bridge is a dental prosthetic that is held in place by affixing it to adjacent teeth. If one tooth is missing, the bridge will consist of two crowns separated by a replacement tooth, which lies suspended in the center of the bridge. The two crowns are permanently cemented over the adjacent healthy teeth that bordered the missing tooth. Although the bridge offers a natural-looking restoration, it does necessitate damaging your healthy teeth to place the crowns. 

Partial Denture

A partial denture is a removable dental appliance with a prosthetic tooth or teeth. It can be placed in your mouth and held in position using denture adhesive. However, the device may still move about as you eat or speak, and it can mar your speech pattern as you attempt to speak and hold it in place at the same time.

Dental Implant

A dental implant is the most natural tooth-like replacement option. The implant includes a screw that is inserted into your jawbone to replace the root of your missing tooth. An abutment is affixed to the top of the implant screw so that a dental crown can be applied to complete the restoration process. The installation of a dental implant is performed in phases because the screw is secured in your jawbone through a process called "osseointegration," which allows the jawbone to grow around the screw. 

If your tooth has been dislodged by trauma or lost through decay, the look of your smile can be restored through a dental restoration application, such as a bridge, a denture or a dental implant. Still, you may not be a candidate for all three options. For instance, in order to receive a dental implant, you must have sufficient bone mass to receive the implant screw. If you would like to explore your tooth replacement options, schedule an appointment with a dentist at a clinic like Alliance Family Dental. They can discuss the best options with you.