There are three things to consider when replacing a missing tooth.
Here at Dentistry on Coolum we aim to save teeth wherever we can however, in some instances saving the tooth is not always possible.
A person may have lost a tooth where it was extensively damaged or rotten:
- Cracked down to the roots
- Extensive gum disease losing support around the tooth.
- Infections where root canal treatments are not possible or practical.
Four Main Options For A Mission Tooth
You have 4 main options when deciding what to do with replacing a missing tooth.
Option 1: Do Nothing
Not all missing teeth can or need to be replaced. However, there can be consequences to doing nothing. Your gums and your bone around the area where your tooth used to be act like muscles. If you are not using them, they shrink causing defects in the level of bone. Other teeth can also collapse into the space like a domino effect and potentially affecting your bite and facial profile.
Option 2: Dental Bridge
A dental bridge is where ‘missing teeth’ are attached to the crowns.
These are great options where dental implants are not possible or when teeth on either side of the space are cracked or heavily filled and in need of crowns.
Crowns require the shaping of back teeth to allow room for them. Bridges aren’t recommended when teeth around the gap are perfectly healthy or minimal work has been done to it.
Option 3: Partial Denture
A partial denture is often the most cost effective option to replacing a missing tooth. Dentures are most practical where several teeth need replacing if fixed solutions such as implants and bridges aren’t affordable.
Dentures however do not prevent loss of bone and gums in the area. Meaning you may require new dentures or old dentures relined over the years as your bone and the gums underneath remodel. Furthermore, partial dentures may also not be very comfortable as dentures can move around and stay in place by ‘clipping’ on to other teeth potentially damaging them.
Option 3: Dental Implant
The last and the best way to replace a missing tooth is a dental implant.
Dental implants are considered the closest alternative to natural teeth. Dental implants help preserve the loss of bone and shrinkage of gums in area. They are also favoured over dental bridges in many instances as they do not affect the neighboring teeth.
While these are the most common options that are available when you are missing a tooth, it’s best not to have a cookie-cutter approach as everyone’s needs, options and budget are different, so talk to your dentist on the best way to replace your missing tooth! Contact us at Dentistry on Coolum on the Sunshine Coast.