For many people, missing teeth present a cosmetic issue. This is a fair concern because missing teeth carry a stigma, and people with missing teeth may feel unfairly judged in social settings.
Unfortunately, the problem of missing teeth goes beyond cosmetics. Missing teeth puts additional stress on your remaining teeth and can lead to fractures, premature wear, and even further tooth loss. In addition, when one or more teeth become missing, the bone in these areas can become atrophied from lack of use. This diminishing bone can lead to visible changes in your smile and cause you to appear prematurely aged.
Even more concerning, missing teeth can make it difficult or painful to enjoy the foods you need for proper nourishment.
There are two options for permanent replacement of missing teeth: implants and bridges. This page is designed to show you the differences, pros, and cons of each option.
- What it is: A titanium post is inserted into the bone and allowed to heal. At that time, a crown is placed on top of the post to replace the missing tooth.
- Candidates: While most healthy adults are good candidates for dental implants, some health conditions can change the effectiveness of implants.
- Main Advantage: Does not rely on adjacent teeth for success.
- Main Disadvantage: Generally requires 6-12 months from start to finish, and may require bone grafting in areas of bone atrophy.
- What it is: A false tooth is fused to a dental crown on each side. This entire unit is permanently glued to the two teeth adjacent to the gap created by the missing tooth.
- Candidates: Healthy adults are almost always good candidates for dental bridges because there are no synthetic parts implanted in the human body.
- Main Advantage: A bridge can be done quickly and can be used in areas with insufficient bone to place an implant.
- Main Disadvantage: Relies on the long-term health of the adjacent teeth.
Schedule your consultation by calling (580) 338-5541