How Do I Replace My Missing Tooth?
Modern technology has increased a dentist’s choice in ways to replace a missing tooth. What is best for the patient and what are the benefits and risks?
Q: How can I have a lost tooth replaced to look like my original tooth?
A: There are three choices using the new materials developed over the past two decades.
- Fixed Bridges
- Removable Partial Dentures
The How and What include the condition of the remaining teeth as well as overall oral health, cosmetics, durability, longevity, cost and number of dental visits required. Consult with your dentist before treatment begins on the best options for you. A Dentist is responsible for a thorough examination and proper diagnosis to determine the best treatment for the patient, evaluate the benefits versus the risk and determine which treatments are necessary.
Q: What is a dental implant?
A: An implant is a titanium metal post, surgically placed into your jawbone. The implant replaces the root of the missing tooth. A prosthetic crown (cap) is anchored to the implant by the third component a metal abutment. The implant crown replaces the lost tooth and looks and functions as the replacement tooth.
Q: What is a Fixed Bridge?
A: A permanently bonded or cemented appliance that replaces the missing tooth. Crowns are made over your natural teeth on each side of the space where the tooth was lost. A replacement tooth is centered on the appliance. Fixed bridges look and function like real teeth.
Q: What is a removable partial denture (RPD)?
A: RPD in a replacement tooth or teeth attached to a gum colored acrylic or thermo-plastic retainer. Clasps attach to natural teeth to hold in place. The appliance is taken out to clean and bedtime.
There exist many choices in restoring your teeth to proper form and function.
Dental implants give the dentist the ability to replace a fractured or lost tooth with an implant retained crown. This cosmetic breakthrough conserves surrounding teeth from needing bridgework. The single tooth implant does not involve treating the teeth next to the space.
The ultimate decision of implant, fixed bridge or removable denture is determined between the patient and dentist.