When you first lose an adult tooth, there’s a lot of pressure to decide on a solution. Left for too long, an open gap can cause your teeth to shift, make you more prone to tooth decay, and even contribute to bone loss. Fortunately, your dentist at Valley Alder will be able to give you a number of possible choices with a specific recommendation based on your past medical history and current oral health. So what tooth replacement option is right for you?
Generally speaking, there are three possible options for replacing a missing tooth. Dentures, dental bridges, and dental implants each have their unique advantages, so your choice really comes down to your health and personal preferences. To help you determine the options that are best suited to you, your dentist in Fontana will likely order x-rays to examine the state of the surrounding teeth as well as your jawbone. Based on that information, your dentist will present you with the options that are available to you.
What Tooth Replacement Option is Right for Me?
Full or partial dentures are a great option for patients missing multiple teeth in the same arch. It’s a cost-effective choice that will allow you to speak and eat normally without any aesthetic drawbacks. Modern dentures look natural and will stay in place as long as they are fitted properly.
As a bonus, they will also help to keep the surrounding teeth from shifting into the gap(s) left by your missing teeth. By keeping your teeth straight, the dentures will prevent future tooth decay that could occur due to crowding. The only downside to dentures is that they require regular maintenance, and they do not attach directly to the jaw. This can lead to some bone loss in the future.
A dental bridge is a set of up to three false teeth secured by natural teeth or dental implants on either side. Given that they can cover up to five missing teeth by using dental implants, dental bridges are an excellent choice for a patient that is missing several teeth in a row. A fixed dental bridge is intended to stay in place, so it requires no more maintenance than your natural teeth.
As with dentures, a fixed dental bridge works to fill the gap left by the missing teeth for aesthetic and functional purposes. But the only teeth directly attached to the jaw are the dental implants. You might choose to have the bridge attached to their natural teeth. In this case, there can prove some strain additional strain on the natural teeth.
In regard to functionality, dental implants are widely considered to be the best option. Namely, for patients who are in relatively good health and have adequate bone mass in the jaw. A dental implant replaces an individual tooth right down to the root. This encourages your jaw to remodel regularly, maintaining its health.
Unfortunately, dental implants can be a lengthy process for some patients, especially if a bone graft is required. There are several stages involved including the surgery to drill the post of the implant into the jaw bone itself. As a result, a dental implant is not the most cost-effective option, but it is the only treatment that will maintain the health of your jaw. It is also the only option that is considered permanent, as it will last well over twenty years with normal care.
Picking a Tooth Replacement Option
Based on your personal situation, you may find your options slightly more limited. But your dentist will be able to guide you based on their medical expertise. From there, it is up to you. You may consider your financial situation, your ability to heal, and the time commitment involved. And the likelihood that the procedure will need to be re-done or adjusted down the line should merit thought. Ultimately, your dentist at Valley Alder will do their best to ensure that you can smile with confidence.