If you are missing one or more teeth, you are probably weighing your treatment options. In addition to being an important component of your smile, your teeth serve an important health function, and losing them has certain health implications you should be aware of. In light of this, let’s look at your options when it comes to the treatment of missing teeth.
While doing nothing is certainly an option when it comes to missing teeth, it is definitely not the best choice. This is because teeth are actually placeholders in a sense. If you have a tooth that is missing for a long period of time, other adjacent teeth can shift, altering your bite.
Doing nothing to replace a missing tooth means that the jawbone under the location of the missing tooth will not have pressure applied to it. Your jawbone needs pressure in order to maintain bone density. Doing nothing can cause bone loss in this area and even affect your facial appearance.
Getting a Bridge
For many years, dentists encouraged patients to get bridges as the main answer to missing teeth. However, there are some drawbacks that you should be aware of when it comes to bridges.
One of the main drawbacks to getting a bridge is that if either of the two anchor teeth become unusable, you will lose the entire bridge. Your teeth must also be altered to make room for the bridge. If both of the anchor teeth are compromised, you could be facing losing three teeth and the ability to chew in that area.
Another drawback to getting bridge work is that the jawbone will not get sufficient pressure to maintain bone density. You are also asking the to anchor teeth to perform the function of several teeth when using a conventional bridge.
Dental implants may be your best choice when it comes to replacing missing teeth for a number of reasons. A dental implant serves as a substitute tooth root, performing the identical function as your natural tooth root. It has the ability to stimulate the jawbone underneath and preserve it to prevent bone resorption that eventually occurs with missing teeth. Once your implant is in place, your jawbone will fuse with it to provide a stable foundation for a replacement tooth that functions and feels like a natural one.