The Best Replacement for a Missing Tooth

Dental Implants Beverly Hills,CAIf you’re missing a tooth, or if you have a tooth that is so decayed it can’t be saved and will need extraction, you have a few options. Some people choose to simply not replace the tooth. Others choose a bridge to replace the missing tooth. Or you can replace it with a dental implant. As our practice name implies, we believe dental implants are the superior choice.

What replaces a missing tooth?

It can be tempting to not replace a missing tooth to save a few dollars and some hassles. But short-term gain can spell long-term problems with your teeth. Teeth stay in place due to the pressure placed upon them by the adjacent tooth. You can think of it like a bleacher in a stadium. When the bleachers are full, people stay in their seat location, kept there by the other people on each side. But when a person gets up to get a Coke, people on both sides of the now empty seat slide over into the gap. The same happens with your teeth. Without the pressure of having a tooth next to it, teeth tend to slide over into the gap. This can create havoc with your bite and the alignment of your teeth.

There are other reasons to replace a missing tooth. Obviously, having a missing tooth is less than cosmetically appealing, unless you’re trying to get a spot on the next Duck Dynasty-esque program. Plus, missing teeth don’t support the jawbone beneath them, allowing it to deteriorate. This is why people missing most or all of their teeth often appear as if their jawbone is collapsing backward.

Implants versus dental bridges

You have two choices for replacing a missing tooth or two — dental implants or a bridge. Bridge, as the name implies, “bridges” the gap of the missing tooth. Crowns are placed on the teeth on each side of the missing tooth, and an artificial tooth or teeth replace the missing tooth or teeth. The bridge is a single-piece prosthetic.

While bridges are a good option, there are a couple of issues with them. Patients need to avoid certain foods that can catch or pull on the bridge, such as caramels or other chewy foods. Also, bridges don’t last forever. Most bridges, with good home hygiene, will last from 10-15 years.

Implants, on the other hand, function just like a natural tooth. Because the implant is anchored into the jawbone, just like a natural tooth root, implants are incredibly strong and durable. Patients with an implant can eat whatever they want without worry. Hygiene is the same as a natural tooth. Plus, most implants will last the remainder of the patient’s life. So, there isn’t any need for a second procedure after a decade or so.

If you’re missing a tooth or a couple of teeth, dental implants are a great replacement option. Call the team at Implant Dentistry of Florida, 321-259-9429 to make an appointment.

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