Tooth Replacement Options

5 November 2020
 Categories: Dentist, Blog

If you are concerned about your appearance because of a missing tooth, there are multiple options available to restore the look of your smile. Here are some of the tooth-replacement options that your dentist may offer.

Dental Implants

A dental implant is a prosthetic device that replaces the roots of a lost tooth. Each implant is made of titanium, a nonreactive metal that is unlikely to incite an immunological response. 

Instead of resting visibly in the interior of the mouth, once placed, an implant is largely concealed by the gums. The dentist inserts the screw-like device through the gums into the bone of the jaw, where it connects to the jawbone over time through osseointegration.

Osseointegration is the integration of the bone with the implanted device. It takes place as the bone cells grow, filling the spaces between the implant and the jawbone material. Once the osseointegration is complete, the implant is locked into its position in the jawbone, as the roots of a natural tooth would be. 

The placement of the implant does not complete the restoration of a lost tooth. The dentist must attach an abutment to the implant before covering the device with a dental crown. 

Among tooth replacement applications, a dental implant-based restoration is often preferred because of its stability and natural appearance. The implant crown is produced from a mold of the mouth and tends to look like a natural tooth crown. Additionally, the implant, which serves as the foundation of the restoration, can withstand the same bite pressure as a natural tooth.

Traditional Dental Bridges

Traditional dental bridges may also be used to restore lost teeth. The bridge, which is also designed from a mold of the mouth, includes a false tooth to replace the missing natural tooth, along with two crowns that connect the bridge to the mouth by attaching to abutment teeth. If an implant is present in the place of one or both abutment teeth, the bridge crowns can connect to the implants by attaching to the abutments of the devices. 

Before the dentist can attach the crowns of the bridge to the abutment teeth, they must remove some of the remaining tooth material. The reduction in the size of the abutment teeth allows the crowns to fit flush in the mouth without distorting the bite line. 

If you have lost a tooth, schedule a consultation with a dentist in your local area.