Implants vs Bridges to Fix Missing Teeth
If your dentist tells you your tooth is unrestorable, that means that there is nothing that can be done to return that tooth to its previous state of health and stability. In this case your tooth will need to be extracted. Before the extraction, it is important for you to consider options for replacing your tooth. Here are several options below:
If your missing tooth is not in your “smile zone,” and it is not necessary for your chewing function, then it is always your option to not replace the tooth. This is common for second molars, and wisdom teeth are never replaced for various reasons.
Have an implant placed.
Implants are a fabulous option for replacing a single tooth. The biggest advantage to this treatment is the teeth next to the space are left alone, and you will be able to floss like it is a normal tooth. Implants are a lot easier to clean than a bridge! Implant treatment comes at a higher price, but it is a great long term investment in your smile and overall oral health. Also, an implant requires adequate bone width and bone height to be placed, and depending on the quality of your bone, it could be a little over a year until your implant crown is cemented. In this case, a temporary partial denture could replace your missing tooth while you are waiting on healing. Talk with your dentist to determine if you would be a good candidate for an implant!
Have a bridge placed.
A bridge is cemented into your mouth, so it stays fixed in place and is not removed. A bridge requires crowning teeth on either side of the missing tooth, and spanning the empty space with a matching false tooth. This is a great option if the teeth on either side of the space need crowns anyway! Keep in mind that bridges need to be cleaned properly to prevent future decay. If the anchor teeth become damaged by cavities, the whole bridge will need to be replaced.
Get a partial denture.
We can make what looks like a retainer with denture teeth on it to fill the missing tooth space. Generally, this can be used as a temporary replacement, but it also can be an economical way to permanently replace teeth. Partial dentures come in and out of your mouth, and they must be removed at night. If you are only missing one tooth, this appliance may seem too bulky to satisfy your needs.
If you want to find a solution to your missing tooth, call and schedule an appointment today!